Smoke Free

Smoking remains the single largest cause of preventable death in the U.S. Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the U.S., including 41,000 deaths resulting from secondhand smoke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Furthermore, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community smoking rates are among the highest of all subgroups. This is due to several factors. The tobacco companies were one of the first Fortune 500 companies to identify the opportunity to target the LGBT community by utilizing images in their ads that resonate with the lifestyle, behaviors, and desires of that population. The tobacco companies were also among the first to adjust their company hiring practices and policies, to include same sex partner benefits and sponsor pride events. In turn, tobacco companies sought a new wave of high risk smokers to market its deadly and harmful products and hook new users as part of their marketing strategies.

There is a growing movement throughout the state of Louisiana of businesses, cities, and parishes choosing to become 100% smoke-free. As a statewide, non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating tobacco use and educating communities on the dangers of secondhand smoke, the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL) and the Healthier Air For All campaign work to create awareness of the dangers of these substances. Most importantly, the value of 100% smoke-free environments for all employees in every industry cannot be understated – our community should work toward health for ALL.

There are numerous free services available for individuals wishing to quit smoking like the Louisiana Tobacco Quitline, 1-800-QUIT-NOW, which is a 24 hour, confidential and free tobacco cessation helpline that links people who want to quit using tobacco with trained cessation specialists who create an individualize plan to quit.

FACTS AT A GLANCE

  • In 2013, the prevalence of current cigarette smoking among lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals was 26.6%, compared with 17.6% among heterosexual/straight individuals (1)
  • LGBT persons experience stigma, discrimination and other stressors that increase the likelihood of smoking (1)
  • Cigarette smoking kills more than 480,000 Americans each year, with more than 41,000 of these deaths from exposure to secondhand smoke (2)
  • In 2013, an estimated 17.8% (42.1 million) U.S. adults were current cigarette smokers. Of these, 76.9% (32.4 million) smoked every day, and 23.1% (9.7 million) smoked some days. (3)

There are many ways Louisianans can help protect all our citizens from secondhand smoke exposure. Visit the Healthier Air For All website to get involved by signing up for text or email alerts about smoke-free events; signing the petition to support the movement to make all public places smoke-free in Louisiana and join others throughout Baton Rouge who are advancing the movement towards a smoke-free Louisiana by volunteering for the effort.

Please visit healthierairforall.org for additional information or contact the TFL Regional Manager Quanda Charles at qcharles@lphi.org.

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Current Cigarette Smoking Among Adults—United States, 2005–2013. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2014;63(47):1108–12 [accessed 2015 Mar 26].
  2. S. Department of Health and Human Services.The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2014 [accessed 2015 Mar 26].
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Current Cigarette Smoking Among Adults—United States, 2005–2013. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2014;63(47):1108–12 [accessed 2015 Mar 26].
Guest Post: How Could Tobacco Companies Be Targeting You?
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