Quitting Tobacco Use

Using tobacco (cigarettes, chewing tobacco, cigars, pipes) is the leading cause of preventable death in the world, killing nearly 6 million people per year, including 6,500 people in Louisiana. On average, tobacco users die 13 to 14 years earlier than nonusers. In addition to death, tobacco causes multiple diseases and disabilities, such as cancer, lung disease, breathing trouble and tooth decay.

LDH operates the Louisiana Tobacco Control Program, which works with schools, communities and individuals to help people who are using tobacco quit, and to discourage other people from taking up this unhealthy habit in the first place.

Want to Quit?

Call the Louisiana Tobacco Control Program Helpline, 1-800-QUIT-NOW, or visit www.QuitwithUsLA.org.

10 reasons to quit smoking. Read more>>

It's no secret that cigarettes are addictive. So take action against your addiction. Read more>>

When you decide to take action and kick the habit, your body will become progressively healthier. Read more>>

Health Effects of Secondhand Smoke

Even if you don't smoke, you need to watch out for people around you who do. Secondhand smoke is the combination of smoke from the burning end of a cigarette and the smoke breathed out by smokers. Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke are inhaling many of the same cancer-causing substances and poisons as smokers.

There is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke causes numerous health problems in infants and children, including severe asthma attacks, respiratory infections, ear infections and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Some of the health conditions caused by secondhand smoke in adults include heart disease and lung cancer.

Keeping Schools Tobacco Free

According to the 2011 Louisiana Youth Tobacco Survey conducted by the Louisiana Tobacco Control Program, 23.6 percent of Louisiana high school students currently smoke cigarettes, which is an increase from 19 percent in 2009. Smoking among middle school students has decreased in the past two years from 11 percent in 2009 to 6.4 percent in 2011.

DHH's Tobacco Control Program encourages the state's public school district to adopt 100 Percent Tobacco-Free Policies, which create an environment in which tobacco use and secondhand smoke are completely eliminated throughout all campuses and school district properties, including outside places such as courtyards, parking lots and ball fields.

There are already laws preventing children under age 18 from buying or using tobacco products. But by prohibiting tobacco use among teachers, staff, volunteers, parents or visitors on school property and at school events sends a positive, consistent message that tobacco use is not acceptable, and that it is harmful to both young people and adults.

Currently, 47 of Louisiana’s 70 school districts have adopted 100 Percent Tobacco-Free policies, setting a positive example for their communities that the health of our youth is a priority. Is your school tobacco free? Find out>>

To participate in the Louisiana Tobacco-Free Schools of Excellence program, and for information on how to implement a policy, please visit www.tfs.latobaccocontrol.com or contact Brandi Bourgeois, Tobacco Control Program Manager, at brandi.bourgeois@la.gov or (225) 342-9307.