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Jefferson Parish leads Louisiana for enrolling, treating, and helping smokers to quit


The American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout (GASO), an annual event that encourages tobacco users to quit or make a plan to quit, occurs on the third Thursday each November. In recognition of the upcoming GASO (Nov. 17, 2016), Jefferson Parish Councilmember Mark Spears, Jr., along with the entire Jefferson Parish council presented special proclamations to the Smoking Cessation Trust Management Services L3C (The Trust), Ochsner Health System, West Jefferson Medical Center and the East Jefferson Medical Center during the Nov. 2 Parish Council Meeting for making Jefferson the leading parish in Louisiana for enrolling, treating, and helping smokers to quit by utilizing the Smoking Cessation Trust clinic network.

The Trust and its hospital partners have worked tirelessly to create a strong network and provide free tobacco cessation and health care services to smokers throughout the Parish. Those services include individual or group counseling, physician visits, nicotine replacement therapy, medications, and more – at no cost to the patient. As of October 2016, more than 8,500 approved applications for membership into the Smoking Cessation Trust were processed in Jefferson Parish alone, compared to approximately 5,800 in Orleans Parish during the same period.

“This is a great day for Jefferson Parish,” said Mark Spears, Jr., Jefferson Parish Councilman- District 3.  ”As a parish council, we are proud of the outstanding services East Jeff, West Jeff and Ochsner are providing our residents.  It is an honor for us to lead the State and serve as a model for other parishes committed to helping their residents permanently quit smoking and live healthier lives.”

Since its beginning in 2011, the Smoking Cessation Trust has been a key partner to other tobacco control organizations such as the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL), the American Cancer Society Action Network and the Communities of Color Network. The work of the Trust in Jefferson Parish has been successful due to the strength and commitment of their partners Ochsner Health System, West Jefferson Medical Center and East Jefferson Medical Center. Each operates a cessation clinic designed to provide one-on-one counseling, reimbursement for Nicotine Related Treatments (NRT), medication and on-going peer support. The clinics are strategically located throughout the parish so that residents who want to quit smoking permanently can easily access the services.

“We are elated about the outstanding work our partners are providing the residents of Jefferson Parish,” said Mike Rogers, CEO of the Smoking Cessation Trust. “We have worked hard to create a network of provider partners to distribute our services to residents in almost every area of the parish.  We believe this model is a recipe for success and can be replicated in other areas around the Louisiana.”

“Louisiana has seen an increase of influential news and legislation regarding tobacco control recently that has demonstrated the need for free quit-smoking services and programs like these,” said Matthew Broussard, Regional Manager for TFL. “We’re proud to be able to aid those who are seeking to quit and hope this model will enable other areas of the state to provide and expand these free quit services in tandem with the Smoking Cessation Trust to create a healthier way of life for all Louisianans.”