Smoking's price high in La.
A worrisome statistic as the campaign to curb smoking in Louisiana continues - one in four high school students smokes.
It’s illegal to sell cigarettes to minors in Louisiana. It’s illegal for minors to possess or use cigarettes. Yet 25 percent of high school students smoke.
That number is indicative of the uphill battle faced by the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living.
Paula Jordan, with the Southern University Agricultural Reserach & Extension Center and regional coordinator for TFL, covered that and other pertinent numbers at an information session sponsored by Acadian Medical Center on Tuesday.
The campaign is funded by two cents dedicated to it from the 36-cent state excise tax on each package of cigarettes sold.
That $2 million a year is used to counter marketing and advertising billions spent by tobacco companies.
Palmer noted some messages that consumers don’t get from tobacco:
About 23.4 percent of Louisiana residents smoke;
The state’s Medicaid bill for smoking-related disease treatment is about $1.47 billion;
About 6,400 Louisiana residents die each year from smoking-related ailments.
“None of the slick advertising and corporate sponsonships says anything about the more than 400 compounds in cigarettes, any number of which are harmful,” she said.
She told her audience, mostly medical professionals, that the TFL’s cessation hotline - 1-800-QUIT NOW, offers assistance and support for smokers wanting to stop