This is Public Health

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New Orleans, one of the South’s largest major tourist cities with a high-grossing land-based casino and more than 500 bars within the city limits, made history today by becoming the largest city in Louisiana to unanimously pass a comprehensive, 100 percent smoke-free ordinance.

The Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Louisiana (CTFLA) applauds and thanks the New Orleans City Council for their unanimous votes today in favor of protecting the health of all New Orleans employees by making all workplaces, including bars and gaming establishments, smoke-free.

The smoke-free measure, championed by Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell and co-sponsored by Councilwoman Susan Guidry, ensures that all employees, including bartenders, gaming facility employees, and entertainers, will be protected from the dangerous health effects of secondhand smoke in the workplace.  The ordinance will go into effect 90 days from passage.

“We are tremendously grateful to all the key city officials who stood up and took action to protect the health of all employees;” said Tonia Moore, Associate Director, the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco Free Living (TFL). “We want to send a special thanks to the ordinance sponsors Councilwoman Latoya Cantrell and Susan Guidry. These leaders not only did the right thing for the health of all New Orleans citizens, but they have continued paving the way for other cities and the state to hopefully do the same.”

Click here to read the full statement.

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More teens are trying out e-cigarettes than the real thing, according to the government’s annual drug use survey.

Researchers were surprised at how many 8th, 10th and 12th graders reported using electronic cigarettes this year, even as regular smoking by teens dropped to new lows.

Nearly 9 percent of 8th graders said they had used an e-cigarette in the previous month, while just 4 percent reported smoking a traditional cigarette, said the report being released Tuesday by the National Institutes of Health.

Use increased with age: Some 16 percent of 10th graders had tried an e-cigarette in the past month, and 17 percent of high school seniors. Regular smoking continued inching down, to 7 percent of 10th graders and 14 percent of 12th graders.

“I worry that the tremendous progress that we’ve made over the last almost two decades in smoking could be reversed on us by the introduction of e-cigarettes,” said University of Michigan professor Lloyd Johnston, who leads the annual Monitoring the Future survey of more than 41,000 students.

Click here to read the full article from the AP. 

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In recognition of today’s 19th annual Kick Butts Day (KBD) (March 19, 2014), Representative Frank Hoffmann, Senator Rick Gallot, The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL)  and a number of youth from across Louisiana stood up to tobacco companies who continue to target those under age at the Capitol building today.

Louisiana’s teen tobacco usage rates remain higher than the national average, with approximately 38.3 percent of high school and 15.6 percent of middle school students in Louisiana using tobacco, according to the 2011 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS). Additionally, across our state anyone under the age of 18 can purchase electronic nicotine devices because they are not regulated. In fact, there has been an increase in the sale, advertisement and marketing of the electronic nicotine devices to youth in particular.

Youth are targeted everyday by big tobacco, which these statistics clearly show. Kick Butts Day is a national day of activism that empowers youth to speak up and take action against the big tobacco companies at hundreds of events from coast to coast. Three mock stores were set up to show legislators, media and visitors the extent of tobacco advertisements that our youth are exposed to on a daily basis. In addition, a rally and press conference took place, which discussed KBD, e-cigarettes and the Defy program. Rep. Hoffmann and Senator Gallot also discussed upcoming tobacco-related legislation as well as interacted with the Defy youth, learning about their work over the past year.

Click here to read the full story.

istock_000000245060xsmallEric Lawson, who died of COPD on Jan. 10, was one of many models and actors who portrayed the rugged “Marlboro Man” over the course of the ad campaign. that began in the early 50s. Others include David Millar, who died of emphysema in 1987, and David McLean, who died of lung cancer in 1995. The latest Surgeon General’s report links smoking to a myriad of diseases that include diabetes, liver cancer and colorectal cancer.

Click here to read the full story from USA Today.

No smoking signThere’s some great news in the Cities of Monroe, West Monroe and all of Ouachita Parish! The City Councils and Police Jury recently passed a smoke-free workplaces ordinance that is leading the movement to adopt similar policies throughout Louisiana in the years to come. Check out this great letter to the editor recently published in the News Star, titled “Time to Pass Smoke-Free Laws.

Additionally, click here for more information about the ordinances, when they will be effective, along with other important details.

istock_000000245060xsmallA new law passed during the legislative session requires all public colleges in Louisiana to develop a smoke-free policy that will be effective as of 2014. The law also bans cigars, pipes, hookah-smoked products, and oral tobacco products on campuses.

Click here to read the full story from KATC-TV.

According to a recent CDC report, the percentage of people who smoke remained essentially unchanged from 2010 to 2011, but over time the prevalence of heavy smoking declined significantly.

To read the full story, click here.

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Louisiana’s teen tobacco usage rates remain higher than the national average, with approximately 38.3 percent of high school and 15.6 percent of middle school students in Louisiana use tobacco, according to the 2011 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS).

In light of these startling statistics, youth throughout the state are choosing to Stand UP! against the tobacco industry and its adolescent-targeted direct marketing efforts. Twelve groups across the state were awarded grants from the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL) to engage and get youth involved with tobacco control and prevention efforts through the Defy the Lies initiative. As part of the grant, Defy teams participated in the point-of-purchase (also known as point-of-sale) project, which focused on tobacco products and advertising in stores where youth are likely to visit on a regular basis, like gas stations, grocery stores, pharmacies, and corner stores in their own communities.

“Reaching out to Louisiana youth, especially during the transition from middle and high school, is crucial,” said Tonia Moore, Associate Director for TFL. “We are continuously working to get local communities involved in TFL’s Defy the Lies initiative, a youth movement that takes down the influence of the tobacco industry, promotes tobacco-free lifestyles, and brings awareness to media and elected officials about what tobacco products are being consumed by and sold to our youth. The time is now to get a better handle on the large number of youth using tobacco products and stand up to the aggressive marketing tactics being used today.”

Click here to read the full story.

Do you ever get tired of going to a bar or event and leaving smelling like an ash tray? If so, check out this great resource from TFL’s Let’s Be Totally Clear site for smoke-free events and venues throughout the state of Louisiana. Its updated frequently, so check back from time to time to see what’s going on in your area!

Click here for smoke-free events.

Click here for smoke-free venues.

The Southern University System is celebrating 1 year since it passed the states first 100% tobacco-free policy. Check out this great Letter to the Editor from the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living & Let’s Be Totally Clear grantee Linda Early Brown from the SUS Ag Center:

One year ago, Southern University became the first university system to pass a 100 percent tobacco-free campus policy. The tobacco-free policy, implemented on January 2, is effective on all five campuses. SU’s policy goes above and beyond by making the campus grounds and events completely tobacco-free inside and out, including prohibiting distribution, advertising or gifting of any such products.

The Communities of Color Network, in collaboration with the SU system and the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL), are excited about this opportunity for the students, faculty and staff statewide to begin working towards a healthier and tobacco-free lifestyle. We look forward to being an integral part in the implementation phase of the tobacco-free policy by continuing to educate staff, faculty members and students on the SU campus on the benefits of being tobacco-free.”

Click here to read the full article from the Louisiana Weekly.