Monroe, LA (PRWEB) October 09, 2013
The members of the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Louisiana (CTFLA) and the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL) applaud and thank the Ouachita Parish Police Jury, the Monroe City Council and the West Monroe Board of Alderman for their recent votes in favor of protecting the health of all employees city and parish-wide by making all workplaces, including bars and gaming establishments, smoke-free.
The smoke-free measure, voted on and passed by Monroe on Sept. 24, the Parish on Oct. 7, and in West Monroe on Oct. 8, will ensure that all employees, including bartenders, gaming facility employees, and entertainers, will be protected from the dangerous health effects of secondhand smoke in the workplace. They will go into effect on Jan. 2, 2014.
"This is very exciting news for our community. Thanks for the great efforts of the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living, and to the West Monroe Board of Aldermen, the Monroe City Council, and the Ouachita Parish Police Jury," said Louisiana Representative Frank Hoffmann. "Monroe and West Monroe and Ouachita Parish are already great places to live; this makes them even better."
Under Act 815, free-standing bars and casinos were exempted from having smoke-free workplaces, and local governing bodies were given the power to enact stronger local smoke-free policies. Ouachita Parish and the cities of Monroe and West Monroe are helping lead the way for the rest of the state by ensuring protection for bar and gaming facility employees who continue to be exposed to secondhand smoke.
"We are tremendously grateful to all the key Parish and City officials who stood up and took action to protect the health of bar employees, gaming facility employees and entertainers. These leaders not only did the right thing for the health of all citizens across the Parish, but they have continued paving the way for other cities and the state to do the same," said Torrie Harris, Director, TFL and Community Health Division at LPHI.
"This is a critical public health issue and the time is right to address it. Bar and gaming facility employees involuntarily inhale enough secondhand smoke every day to suffer some of the same negative health effects of pack-a-day smokers, and prolonged exposure can damage performers’ vocal chords or shut them down entirely," said Jennifer Haneline, Regional Manager, Monroe Area, for TFL.
For more information on 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.