National Kick Butts Day Asks LA Teens To Share Quit Smoking Message

NEW ORLEANS – The Smoking Cessation Trust, in conjunction with Greater New Orleans Louisiana Healthy Community Coalition (GNOHCC) members, will be sharing its quit smoking message at a Kick Butts Awareness event on Wednesday, March 18, 2015, at Delgado Community College, 615 City Park Ave. from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

         Information and health screening tables will be set up outside the Fitness Center. Delgado is the largest college/ university in New Orleans that is tobacco-free.

         According to a recent study, more than 12% of current Louisiana high school students have smoked cigarettes in the past month. While overall, smoking rates are down throughout the United States, studies estimate that more than 6,200 Louisianans under the age of 18 will begin smoking in 2015. Studies have also shown that children are three times more likely to smoke if their parents smoke.

         To counteract the numerous messages targeting young smokers, Kick Butts Day was started in 1996 as a day of activism to empower youth to stand out, speak up and seize control against Big Tobacco. It is organized by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and sponsored by the United Health Foundation. By hosting “kick butts” events around the country, including many in Louisiana, they aim to explain the dangers of cigarettes to this young, potentially vulnerable, audience.

         “Studies have shown that 90% of adult smokers begin in their teens or earlier with two-thirds becoming regular smokers before they reach the age of 19,” Mike Rogers, Chief Executive Officer of SCT Management Services, said. “While we encourage all young people ‘not to start’ or ‘quit smoking cigarettes,’ we also ask that they share the ‘kick butts’ message of empowerment with their parents, grandparents and other older adults in their lives, many who are eligible to register for the free smoking cessation program available to Louisiana residents who began smoking cigarettes prior to Sept 1, 1988, through the Smoking Cessation Trust (www.SmokeFreeLA.org).

         Sometimes, hearing the plea to stop smoking from their children or grandchildren is has just the right combination of love and power parents/ grandparents need to begin their battle to overcome the power of their addiction to cigarettes.”

         In its ongoing efforts to encourage Louisianans to quit cigarettes, the Trust recently became a partner in the Krewe de Quit Program (www.krewedequit.org), a program provided to Louisiana residents by a consortium of organizations in Louisiana who want to see smoking overcome in Louisiana. Krewe de Quit consortium partners are: the 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. Krewe de Quit’s program was designed and made available in cooperation with Pfizer.

         Krewe de Quit, based on the tradition Mardi Gras krewes, brings together the shared goals and friendships of Mardi Gras krewes to assist smokers in their quit attempts. 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, and visit www.KreweDeQuit.org for helpful tools and resources.

         “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,” Rogers said. “Through observances like Kick Butts Day and other annual smoking-related observances and events, we are able to share our message with smokers that quitting now is one of the best things they can do for their health.”

         The Smoking Cessation Trust is the result of a court judgment in a 14-year-old class action lawsuit entitled Scott v. American Tobacco Company. The judgment became final in 2011 and ordered certain tobacco companies to fund a statewide, 10-year smoking cessation program to benefit more than 200,000 Louisiana smokers who are members of the plaintiff class (the "Scott Class"). The recipient of the award was a court-established and court-supervised smoking cessation program to benefit all Louisiana residents who began smoking cigarettes before September 1, 1988.

         Applicants who register for the Smoking Cessation Trust program and are approved as qualified recipients will be eligible to receive any of the following Trust program cessation services completely free: cessation medications, individual/ group cessation counseling, telephone quit-line support, and/ or intensive cessation support services. By using these services, evidence suggests that participants will increase the success rate of attempts to stop smoking cigarettes, and may successfully quit—for good. To date, the Trust has registered more than 26,000 Louisiana residents who are ready to quit.

         For more information: www.smokefreela.org or call toll-free at 1-855-259-6346.

 

 

 

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