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.”
November 30th, 2012
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!
November 6th, 2012
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.”
September 13th, 2012
The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL), in partnership with the LSUHSC School of Public Health, recently compared teen tobacco rates to the national average in response to results from the 2011 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) that highlighted growing trends in tobacco use among African American youth and youth adults. The startling results showed that in Louisiana, high tobacco prevalence is not unique to African Americans. In fact, Louisiana’s teen tobacco rates remain higher than the national average, regardless of race.
In 2011, approximately 36 percent of African Americans and 39 percent of White high school students in Louisiana were tobacco users. These figures experience little change from 2009; this suggests persistently high consumption patterns for both racial groups. The only discernible difference in the data is between middle and high school students. A statistically significant increase in tobacco utilization is observed between middle and high school students regardless of race or type of tobacco product.
Click here to read the full release, learn more about TFL and see how you can get involved.
Click here to read the data brief with more details on Louisiana youth tobacco usage.
For more information about the DEFY program, click here.
Fit NOLA Challenge for a Healthier Louisiana Project Brings $2.2 Million to Support Neighborhood Parks and Fresh Food Access
August 17th, 2012
The Fit NOLA Challenge for a Healthier Louisiana Project, led by the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI), in partnership with the City of New Orleans Health Department, is slated to receive a total of $2.2 million in funding from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation and pledged matching funds from community partner organizations to increase use of neighborhood parks and access to healthy foods in three underserved neighborhoods. The project will work to transform policies, systems and the environment in parks and surrounding neighborhoods to address barriers to both physical activity and access to healthy food.
The Fit NOLA Project will work to create innovative linkages between community health clinics, parks, and farmers markets in the St. Roch, Gert Town, and Hoffman Triangle-Central City neighborhoods, with a goal of connecting approximately 64,000 residents with new opportunities for family-oriented physical activities, nutritious foods, and community centered health clinics that support and promote better nutrition and increased physical activity to improve long-term, community health outcomes.
“_____ Stinks!” Media Campaign Launched State-Wide By The Louisiana Campaign For Tobacco-Free Living
July 5th, 2012
The Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI) and The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL) recently launched its 2012 state-wide media campaign “_______ Stinks!” The campaign features an interactive concept targeted at creating a call-to-action for all Louisianans to advocate for stronger protections from secondhand smoke in bars and gaming facilities.
TFL also launched an updated www.LetsBeTotallyClear.org website, Twitter (@betotallyclear), and Facebook (www.Facebook.com/letsbetotallyclear) pages to assist supporters of the smoke-free movement across the state to get more involved and share what they think stinks about secondhand smoke. The updated Letsbetotallyclear.org website also boasts a comprehensive list of smoke-free venues, shows and events across the state.
Check out the full release here.
May 30th, 2012
Tobacco Industry Interference was selected as this year’s theme for The World Health Organization (WHO) World No Tobacco Day, which is meant to encourage a 24-hour period of abstinence from all forms of tobacco consumption across the globe. The day is intended to draw global attention to the widespread prevalence of tobacco use and to negative health effects.
For the fifth year in a row, the incidence of onscreen smoking in youth-rated movies is down, decreasing from 2,093 scenes in 2005 to 595 in 2010. This drop in onscreen smoking promises to promote a decline in youth smoking rates. Recent studies from the National Cancer Institute reveal that adolescents with the most exposure to onscreen smoking are about twice as likely to start smoking as those with the least exposure. And the benefits of reducing onscreen tobacco use also extend to adults as more than 80% of adult smokers begin their habit as adolescents. Read more about tobacco information that adolescents and parents should keep in mind.
New research published in the July 2011 edition of Pediatrics found that children exposed to secondhand smoke (SHS) at home are twice as likely to develop mental health problems like ADD or ADHD as children in smoke-free homes. Study authors from Harvard estimate that 274,000 cases of common behavioral disorders could have been prevented with smoke-free homes. The link between secondhand smoke exposure and mental health problems joins a growing body of evidence outlining the dangers of secondhand smoke – recent studies have linked childhood secondhand smoke exposure with depression, anxiety disorder, and becoming a smoker. Furthermore, the U.S. Surgeon General has stated that there is “no safe amount of secondhand smoke,” as SHS exposure can cause heart disease and lung cancer in adults and asthma, respiratory infections, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in children. Read more about the negative health effects of secondhand smoke.
June 21st, 2011
Beginning in September 2012, every pack of cigarettes and cigarette advertisement in the U.S. must bear one of nine new, graphic cigarette health warnings along with the phone number 1-800-QUIT-NOW, as mandated by the FDA. These prominent warnings represent the most significant tobacco label changes in 25 years and are a proven way to educate smokers and others, including youth, about the dangers of tobacco use while increasing the number of smokers who decide to quit. Following implementation, the U.S. will join 43 other countries that already require images on cigarette packs. See the new warning labels and read more about the changes to tobacco packaging and advertisements. (Graphic provided by: U.S. Food and Drug Administration)