TFL Teams up with the New Orleans Saints & Pelicans to Promote Tobacco-Free Living

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TFL, the Saints and the Pelicans will work together over the coming months to promote smoke-free environments and the importance of protection for all Louisianans against secondhand smoke. Several players will help spread the message of the importance of being tobacco-free and why they choose to do so through various PSAs and other promotional efforts.

Joe Kimbrell (CEO of LPHI), Aaron Miscenich (Executive Director, LCRC), Mr. Tom Benson (Owner, Chairman of the Board of the New Orleans Saints), Mrs. Grace Benson, Dennis Lauscha (President, Saints)

Smoke-free environments are important for all employees – musicians, gaming facility employees, and athletes, as well.

The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL) is thrilled to announce its partnership with the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans for their 2013-2014 seasons.

TFL, the Saints and the Pelicans will work together over the coming months to promote smoke-free environments and the importance of protection for all Louisianans against secondhand smoke. Several players will help spread the message of the importance of being tobacco-free and why they choose to do so through various PSAs and other promotional efforts.

The average smoker tries his or her first cigarette before the age of 18, and an estimated 1,000 youth in that age group become new daily cigarette smokers according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Additionally, the Journal of the American Medical Association noted that smoking makes individuals perform worse at all levels as they are unable to heal as fast as non-smokers and are not as strong as nonsmokers. The effects of smoking would be detrimental for an athlete.

Both the Saints and Pelicans have committed to making their respective practice facilities, as well as the business offices, smoke-free.

“We’re excited to be partnering with the Saints and Pelicans on the opening of the brand new Smoke-Free Pelicans Practice Facility,” said Dr. Torrie Harris, Director of the Community Health Division and TFL at the Louisiana Public Health Institute. “Smoke-free environments are important for all employees – musicians, gaming facility employees, and athletes, as well. Through this partnership, and our continuing work with the Louisiana Tobacco Control Program, it is our hope to share this message with the hundreds of thousands of fans to further promote a smoke-free state. We look forward to continuing our efforts with Mr. Benson and both teams toward a healthier Louisiana for all.”

This collaboration with both organizations comes at a critical time for Louisiana. The state as a whole is making strides in public health; however, it consistently trails in health reports. Currently, Louisiana is ranked 49th out of 50 states according to United Health Foundation’s America’s Health Rankings for the worst overall state health due to high rates of cardiovascular and cancer deaths, as well as diabetes and obesity. Additionally, the Surgeon General’s 2012 Report: Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults, indicated that social norms influence young people to try tobacco products. Through this partnership, TFL and the Saints and Pelicans will work to promote a healthier, smoke-free state.

For more information about TFL and the growing movement to protect all Louisiana employees from secondhand smoke, visit http://www.letsbetotallyclear.org.

The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living
The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL) and the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Tobacco Control Program (LTCP) coordinate their efforts in tobacco prevention and control by providing statewide coordination of existing tobacco control initiatives, funding innovative community programs for tobacco control, offering services for people who are ready to quit and developing statewide media campaigns to help reduce the excessive burden of tobacco use on the state’s resources and improve the overall health and quality of life in Louisiana. For more information, visit http://www.tobaccofreeliving.org. To find out more about the dangers of secondhand smoke and show your support for a 100-percent smoke-free Louisiana, visit http://www.letsbetotallyclear.org.

About the Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium (LCRC)
The Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium of New Orleans provides a structure in which Tulane University Health Sciences Center and Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center - the state's two leading medical research institutions - will work together and coordinate cancer research development in preparation for recognition as a National Cancer Institute (NCI) - Designated Cancer Center. The consortium is funded through five cents of the tobacco excise tax, three cents to fund infrastructure and cancer research program development for the new Consortium and two cents for tobacco control and prevention programs. Conservative estimates indicate that approximately $10 million per year will be generated from this revenue source. For more information, visit http://www.lcrc.info.

About the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI)
Founded in 1997, The Louisiana Public Health Institute’s mission is to promote and improve the health and quality of life in Louisiana through public-private partnering at the community, parish and state levels. By fostering collaborative endeavors in the areas of health information, public policy, applied research, and community capacity enhancement, LPHI works to develop community-oriented solutions that improve the health of the Louisiana population. For more information, visit http://www.lphi.org.

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Mary Martin Fein
Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI)
(504) 301-9814
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