One Million Protected Milestone
Town by town Louisianans take a stand against secondhand smoke to protect over 1 million residents with comprehensive smoke-free ordinances.
The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco Free Living (TFL) started 2019 with a major milestone, helping protect one million Louisianans from secondhand smoke. A combination of 18 cities, towns, parishes have come together to make this milestone possible.
This development comes in the wake of Louisiana’s ranking as the least healthy state in America’s Health Rankings Annual Report by the United Health Foundation, which listed tobacco usage as one of Louisiana’s primary health concerns. According to the report, 23% of adult Louisianans smoke, making Louisiana’s smoking percentage is 9% higher than the national average of 14%.
“Secondhand smoke can lead to harmful consequences such as lung cancer (the most fatal type of cancer in Louisiana), premature birth and respiratory infections,” said Tonia Moore, TFL Director.
Comprehensive smoke-free ordinances protect residents from secondhand smoke in all indoor public places, including bars and gaming establishments.
“Despite our best educational efforts, some municipalities are hesitant to adopt smoke-free ordinances because they believe such an ordinance will have a negative financial effect on certain businesses,” said Moore. “However, we have worked with several partners and have not found conclusive evidence that smoke-free environments are directly responsible for negative financial consequences.”
Alexandria was the first city to adopt a comprehensive smoke-free policy in 2012. Major Louisiana cities that followed include New Orleans (2015), Hammond (2015), and Lafayette (2017) and Baton Rouge (2018). The most recent addition includes Haynesville (2019). Additional smoke-free ordinances include: Woodworth (2012), Monroe (2012), West Monroe (2012), Ouachita Parish (2012), Cheneyville (2014), Bogalusa (2016), Glenmora (2017), Lafayette (2017), Colfax (2017), LeCompte (2017), McNary (2018), Abbeville (2018) and Roseland (2018).
“The commitment these local community leaders have shown to the betterment to their quality is inspiring and hopefully they will continue to lead the way for others in supporting a healthy Louisiana, because as a state we have much work left to do,” said Moore.