‘Coalition’ focuses on quitting tobacco

Published 4:02 am Friday, July 27, 2018

The Washington Parish Coalition on Human Services (WPCHS) held its July meeting at the ESM United Methodist Church.

Guest speakers included Deborah Durapau, representing Our Lady of the Angels Hospital, and Jaime Bruins, representing the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco Free Living. Durapau discussed risks from smoking and free services that are available to anyone who is interested in quitting smoking. For more information on these programs, Durapau can be reached at 985-730-7166.

Bruins spoke about the dangers of second-hand smoke and the rights of everyone to work and live in a smoke-free environment. Bruins commended the city of Bogalusa for being the ninth city in Louisiana to pass a comprehensive act to ban smoking in public locations, including bars and gaming areas.

Reports were also given by members. Rhonda Gunnell discussed “juuling,” which is a relatively new trend among teens. A “juul” is a small device that resembles a USB drive and is used for vaping tobacco and/or marijuana. The device is easy to conceal and emits no odor or smoke when using with marijuana. Gunnell and Regina Meyerchick are available to conduct short in-services for schools and other interested groups. For more information on juuling, contact ADAPT at 985-735-0160.

Ginger Champagne reported on the Louisiana Partnership for Success (LAPFS) program. Champagne said that LAPFS has been addressing the opioid epidemic through a variety of ways in our parish. Brochures have been placed at local pharmacies, which outlines safe usage and safe storage practices for prescribed opioids. LAPFS is marketing a social media campaign to educate the public on dangers of using opioids.

Gloria Kates urged everyone present to become a regular member of the WPCHS in an effort to increase the group’s ability to enhance the psycho-physical well-being of all individuals of Washington Parish throughout their life span.

Members in attendance at the July meeting included: Rhonda Gunnell, Veronica Thomas, Regina Meyerchick, Gloria Kates, Glory Davis, Emma Ross, Taffy Morrison, Ginger Champagne, Jaime Bruins, Kayla Brumfield, Brittny Costella, Ana Lopez, Charla Krein, Lynette Sharp, Derek Covert, Melissa Mohon, Kayla Brumfield, Debra Durapau, Jennifer Barnes, Angelle Escourse and Lori Aversa.

The next scheduled meeting for WPCHS will be on Tuesday, Aug. 28, at 9:30 a.m. at ESM United Methodist Church.

For more information, call Rhonda Gunnell or Charlette Fornea at 985-735-0160.