Tobacco users given another shot at success
The Rapides Foundation has produced a new advertising campaign aimed at encouraging tobacco users to ask their doctors for help quitting.
The television, radio and movie theatre ads, set to run through October, tell the story of “the lucky one” who quit using tobacco but did not do it alone. He sought the help of his doctor and used a free counseling quitline, which done together greatly increases anyone’s chances of quitting successfully.
“We know that tobacco users are most successful in their attempts to quit when they receive a combination of therapies including advice from their physicians, counseling and pharmacotherapy,” said Joe Rosier, president and CEO of The Rapides Foundation. “In our nine-parish service area, one-half of smokers made a quit attempt within the past year. This is nearly 10 percent lower than the United States. Our goal is to increase this number in all of our parishes.”
The ad campaign will run alongside the Foundation’s healthcare provider referral and reminder program which started in February. With the referral and reminder program, tobacco users no longer need to take the first step in calling the Louisiana quitline.
Healthcare provider referral and reminder programs are a proven strategy that encourages doctors to talk to their patients about quitting and then refer them to the Louisiana Tobacco Quitline, which gives them access to free counseling by trained tobacco cessation specialists. This free counseling is usually combined with medical therapy under the guidance of the doctor.
The Louisiana Tobacco Quitline, 1-800-QUIT-NOW or 1-800-784-8669, provides free, confidential advice and support to Louisiana residents ages 13 and older. This service is available in various languages such as English and Spanish. TTY accommodations for hearing impaired and deaf individuals are available at 1-800-228-4327.
Medicare may provide coverage of smoking and tobacco-use counseling. Medicaid does not cover counseling services such as this but may cover pharmacotherapy treatments such as Chantix.
Both campaigns are part of The Rapides Foundation’s Tobacco Prevention and Control Initiative. For more about this program, please visit www.gethealthycenla.org.
Central Louisiana celebrates 'Kick Butts Day'
Central Louisiana youths released balloons, signed tobacco-free pledges and remembered lives lost to tobacco – all during various Kick Butts Day celebrations in their communities last March.
Kick Butts Day is a nationally recognized day that empowers young people to speak up and take action against tobacco. Central Louisiana events were funded by The Rapides Foundation’s Tobacco Prevention and Control Initiative.
The Rapides Foundation encourages support of Kick Butts Day activities because of their proven effectiveness. “Educating young people about the dangers of tobacco is an important part of our initiative,” said Joe Rosier, president and chief executive officer. “Statistics show that 90 percent of smokers start before the age of 18.” Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, killing more than 400,000 people every year. Every day, more than 4,000 kids try their first cigarettes while another 1,000 become addicted smokers.
Most Central Louisiana schools and organizations held their Kick Butts Day events on March 25. Schools in Leesville and Natchitoches will hold theirs in May. Events across Central Louisiana in March included:
The Boys and Girls Club of Central Louisiana held a Kick Butts Day Carnival which featured a balloon release and a moment of silence to recognize the 1,200 lives lost nationwide each day from tobacco-related illness. A former smoker discussed her journey to quit smoking, and the organization’s Tobacco Free Youth Leadership members talked about the dangers of tobacco.
Seven Catahoula Parish schools -- Block High in Jonesville, Central High in Larto, Harrisonburg Elementary, Harrisonburg High, Jonesville Junior High, Martin Junior High in Sicily Island and Sicily Island High – held Kick Butts Day events. At these events, students wrote facts about tobacco products on a banner, collected pledges to be tobacco free, wrote the names of loved ones lost to tobacco, told the tobacco industry to stop targeting youths as “replacement customers,” placed crosses to represent the people who die from tobacco-related illness, painted T-shirts, held balloon releases, learned the truth about what’s in a cigarette and participated in carnivals, to name just a few of the events.
At Oakdale Middle and High school in Allen Parish, students discussed the dangers of tobacco use and exposed the tobacco industry’s lies and deceptive marketing tactics, and remembered lives lost to tobacco-related illness. Oberlin High School students set up a lunch time table display to show some of the 4,000 chemicals that are in tobacco smoke and a Tobacco Graffiti Wall for the students to express how they feel about tobacco.
Members of “Nameless,” a youth tobacco-advocacy program sponsored by Louisiana Youth Prevention Services under a grant from The Rapides Foundation, spearheaded activities at Pineville High, Plainview High and Simpson High schools. They placed posters to show the ingredients of cigarettes; made public-service announcements about tobacco statistics; handed out bookmarks, pencils and stickers; and put tobacco prevention material in their teacher lounges.