‘Smoke free’ plan is under way

Published 4:37 am Saturday, July 14, 2018

In recognition of the one-year anniversary of Bogalusa’s smoke-free ordinance, and in coordination with healthy lifestyle promotion, Bogalusa Strong and the Bogalusa Mayor’s Wellness Council announce a city-wide “Independence from Tobacco” campaign.

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the nation, killing 443,000 Americans and 6,500 Louisiana residents each year. Chewing tobacco and smoking also cause immediate illness and long-term suffering. Tobacco in any form is dangerous, addictive, and contains 28 cancer-causing ingredients. One in four Bogalusa residents smoke or chew tobacco. Washington Parish’s health determinants are among the highest in the state, ranking 63rd out of 64 parishes for length of life with a 22-percent smoking rate.

Smoking is responsible for:

  • Heart disease — the leading cause of death in the United States.
  • An estimated 90 percent of all lung cancer deaths in men and 80 percent in women.
  • Emphysema, bronchitis, and chronic airway obstruction.
  • Cancers including leukemia, bladder, cervical, esophageal, kidney, lung, mouth and throat, pancreatic, and stomach.

Smokeless tobacco isn’t safe either, causing gum disease, oral cancer heart disease, tooth decay, high blood pressure, and jawbone loss.

Quitting isn’t easy, but help is only a phone call away. Our Lady of Angels Tobacco Cessation Program and Quit with LA offer free, confidential support to help people quit for good. Free phone counseling, classes and nicotine replacement medication can help smokers kick the habit.

What is Bogalusa Strong?

Bogalusa Strong is a collaboration of community members, leaders, businesses and organizations working together to improve quality of life by promoting physical, social, and environmental health. Supported by Mayor Wendy Perrette, the Mayor’s Wellness Council, Our Lady of Angels Hospital, LSU AgCenter, and the Louisiana Department of Health Well-Ahead Louisiana, Bogalusa Strong works to empower a vision for a healthier community.

To learn more about Bogalusa Strong and how to get involved, contact Derek Covert at derek.covert@fmolhs.org or call 985-730-6707.