Smoking Cessation Trust, EJGH Partner To Provide Smoking Cessation Products, Services To New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS – The Smoking Cessation Trust, now in the fourth year of its 10-year program, announced its partnership with East Jefferson General Hospital (EJGH) to offer free smoking cessation products and services to the people of the greater New Orleans area. East Jefferson General Hospital is a not-for-profit community hospital that has served the Greater New Orleans region for 45 years. Recognized for excellence in cardiology, oncology, orthopedics, pulmonology and neuro-sciences, East Jefferson General Hospital strives to achieve its mission statement of providing the highest levels of comfort and care to the people it serves.

         Classes for the new smoking cessation program, located at EJGH’s main campus on Houma Blvd., meet for nine weekly sessions in the morning or evening for the convenience of its participants. Medications or Nicotine Replacement Therapy typically starts during the second session and follow ups and ongoing support are available once the initial nine-week period is over to ensure a smoke-free future. The EJGH program, which officially began June 1, is currently scheduling appointments by phone at (504) 503-6322 or online at www.ejgh.org for those who are finally ready to quit.

         According to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoking is the leading preventable cause of death and disease. Smoking and use of tobacco products, including cigars and smokeless tobacco, can cause or worsen many diseases and conditions, including, but not limited to, emphysema, lung cancer, mouth cancer and heart disease.

         The health benefits of quitting smoking are substantial and immediate, and include:

• 20 minutes after quitting smoking, your heart rate begins to drop

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

• Within three months, lung function begins to improve

• After one year of quitting, the 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.

         “With the adult smoking rate in the greater New Orleans area currently at 19.9%, we are pleased to offer ‘Scott Class’ members who continue to smoke, the opportunity to take advantage of the free resources available through the Smoking Cessation Trust to help them give up cigarettes,” said Mike Rogers, CEO, Smoking Cessation Trust Management Services. “Through our partnership with East Jefferson General Hospital we can make a higher level of smoking cessation services available to Trust Members in this area than has ever been available in the past. This program will help educate people about the dangers of smoking and how they can better their health, as well as their finances, by taking advantage of what this free program has to offer.”

         Louisiana presently ranks 46 out of 50 states for tobacco use, according to the 2015 America’s Health Rankings® Report from the United Health Foundation with nearly a quarter (24%) of the state’s residents smoking. The Trust, which has members in every parish of the state, is working towards its goal of helping 210,000 Louisianans become smoke-free by 2022. To date, the Trust has nearly 57,000 applicants who have made the commitment to quit smoking.

         “Partnering with the Smoking Cessation Trust will allow us to continue to reach a wider group of smokers and offer a variety of products and services that we know can help them quit,” said Dr. Mark Peters, EJGH President and CEO. “In keeping with our mission to provide the highest quality, compassionate healthcare to the people we serve, we are really excited to help as many people as possible in our community begin the journey towards a tobacco-free life.”

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