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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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)

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The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL) announces the availability of up to $658,000 in Community Advocacy Grants to foster community involvement in reducing exposure to secondhand smoke, preventing youth tobacco initiation and reducing tobacco-related health disparities. TFL Community Advocacy Grants will be awarded statewide in amounts of $12,000 to $20,000 each. The funding period for the Community Advocacy Grants is for one year and will be from July 1, 2011 to June 15, 2012. The TFL Community Advocacy Grant application submission deadline is March 16, 2011 at Noon (12:00 p.m. CST). Completed applications must be submitted online and instructions for doing so are found within the Request for Application document. Visit www.tobaccofreeliving.org to download the Request for Application (RFA) and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on the home page.

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According to a report from U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin that was issued last week, even extremely short term exposure to tobacco smoke causes immediate harm and can damage DNA . Furthermore, the Surgeon General stated that if a person has existing heart disease, inhaling just one cigarette could trigger a heart attack. The Surgeon General’s Report came on the heels of the 2010 edition of America’s Health Rankings from the United Health Foundation, in which Louisiana, a state where thousands of employees and patrons in bars and casinos remain exposed to harmful secondhand smoke every day, was once again near the bottom of the list. To share your thoughts on secondhand smoke and to learn more about advocating for stronger smoke-free policies in Louisiana, visit www.LetsBeTotallyClear.org.