Louisianans Quit Smoking With The Power Of Mardi Gras

NEW ORLEANS – One in every four adults in Louisiana is a smoker, making the state 6th in the nation for smoking prevalence. A newly launched smoking cessation initiative called Krewe de Quit is on a mission to change that.

         Krewe de Quit is based on the tradition of the Mardi Gras krewe. It brings together the shared goals and friendships of the Mardi Gras krewe to a quit smoking attempt. By joining the Krewe, smokers can build support among family and friends who can keep them inspired and motivated during their efforts to quit. Even nonsmokers can lend their support by encouraging their smoking friends to take the Krewe de Quit pledge.

         “Quitting is lonely, hard work but smokers who share their efforts with family and friends can get the support they need to quit and stay smoke free,” Mike Rogers, Chief Executive Officer, Louisiana Smoking Cessation Trust Management Services, said. “Krewe de Quit focuses on the social support of the krewe so smokers don’t feel like they’re quitting alone. The initiative also isn’t about what smokers need to give up but rather what they can gain, in terms of a healthier life, by committing to quit. Quitting now is one of the best things they can do for their health.”

         Krewe de Quit is supported by Pfizer Inc. in a collaboration with the Louisiana Smoking Cessation Trust, the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living, Ochsner Health System, the American Lung Association Southeast, the Cardiovascular Institute of the South and the Louisiana Business Group on Health.

         Only four to seven percent are successful when quitting cold turkey.  The goal of Krewe de Quit is to provide smokers with the support needed to help them quit, with a goal to reduce the rate of smoking among adults in Louisiana from 24 percent to 21 percent by 2017. The first thing people need to do is talk to the most important member in their Krewe de Quit – their doctor or healthcare provider. A healthcare provider can help smokers find a quit smoking plan that’s right for them. Smokers should then take the Krewe de Quit pledge at www.KreweDeQuit.org or the campaign Facebook page, where they can also alert family and friends that they are quitting for good, and challenge other smokers to quit with them.

         Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death and disease. The benefits of quitting smoking are substantial and immediate. According to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:


• 20 minutes after you quit, your heart rate begins to drop

• 12 hours after you quit, the level of carbon monoxide in your blood drops

• Within three months, your lung function begins to improve

• After one year of quitting, your added risk of heart disease is half that of a current smoker

• Within five years of quitting, the risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus and bladder is cut in half. In fact, one in three cancer deaths in the U.S. would not happen if no one smoked.

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