Smoking Cessation Trust Encourages Smokers To Quit Cigarettes During Great American Smokeout

NEW ORLEANS – In recognition of this year’s Great American Smokeout on Thursday, November 19, 2015, the Smoking Cessation Trust (SCT) is encouraging Louisianans to quit cigarettes forever by utilizing the free products and services it provides.

         The Great American Smokeout was created in the 1970’s by the American Cancer Society to get people to quit cigarettes for a day and donate the dollars they would have spent on cigarettes to charity. The event has since grown to encourage people to the use the date to make a plan to quit, or plan in advance and then quit smoking that day. It challenges people to stop using tobacco and helps people know about the many tools they can use to help them quit and stay quit.

         The Smoking Cessation Trust was established in late 2011 when the judgment in Scott v. American Tobacco Company, a 14-year-old class action lawsuit, became final. The judgment 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, known as the Smoking Cessation Trust, which would benefit all Louisiana residents who began smoking cigarettes before September 1, 1988. The program began registering eligible recipients in 2012 and, to date, has registered over 40,000 Louisiana citizens who have committed to kicking the habit.

         Applicants who register for the new smoking cessation program and are approved (usually in one day) as qualified recipients will be eligible to receive any of the following cessation services completely free: cessation medications (such as Zyban® and Chantix®), nicotine replacement therapy (gum, patch, lozenge, inhaler, nasal spray), 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.

         According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 23.5% of Louisiana adults smoke cigarettes; compared to 17.8% nationally. Nicotine dependence is the most common form of chemical dependence in the United States. There are immediate benefits for those who stop smoking including return to heart rate and blood pressure normality, improved circulation, improved lung function, and improved smell and taste. Long term benefits to non-smokers include reducing the chance of dying prematurely from smoking related diseases by 60%, a lower risk of stroke, and improvement in overall physical appearance.

         “We encourage smokers to not only quit for the day, but to quit for life,” says Mike Rogers, Chief Executive Officer of SCT Management Services, the company that manages the SCT cessation program. “Quitting smoking is not only tough and often lonely work, but it is also becoming a progressively expensive habit to support. Many people want to quit but see the cost of cessation aids as a barrier. As part of our program they can go see their doctor for free, get gum or patches for free and talk to a cessation counselor to help break the habit – all without paying a cent!” 

         Find a list of statewide smoking cessation providers here




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