and to Share the “Kick Butts” Message with their Parents/Grandparents
Program Offers FREE Products and Services to Help Louisiana Cigarette Smokers Quit
NEW ORLEANS (March 8, 2013) – According to a recent study, over 20% of current Louisiana high school students have smoked cigarettes in the past month. While overall, smoking rates are down throughout the United States, studies estimate that 6,200 Louisianans under the age of 18 will begin smoking in 2013, joining the 888,300 adult Louisianans who already smoke regularly. Studies have also shown that children are three times more likely to smoke if their parents smoke.
To counteract the numerous messages targeting young smokers, Kick Butts Day was started in 1996 as a day of activism to empower youth to stand out, speak up and seize control against Big Tobacco. It is organized by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and sponsored by the United Health Foundation. By hosting “kick butts” events around the country, including many here in Louisiana, they aim to explain the dangers of cigarettes to this young, potentially vulnerable, audience.
The recently established Smoking Cessation Trust is the result of a court judgment in a 14-year-old class action lawsuit entitled Scott v. American Tobacco Company. The judgment became final in 2011 and ordered certain tobacco companies to fund a statewide, 10-year smoking cessation program to benefit more than 200,000 Louisiana smokers who are members of the plaintiff class (the “Scott Class”). The recipient of the award was a court-established and court-supervised smoking cessation program to benefit all Louisiana residents who began smoking cigarettes before September 1, 1988.
Applicants who register for the new smoking cessation program and are approved as qualified recipients will be eligible to receive any of the following cessation services completely free: cessation medications, individual/ group cessation counseling, telephone quit-line support, and/or intensive cessation support services. By using these services, evidence suggests that participants will increase the success rate of attempts to stop smoking cigarettes, and may successfully quit—for good.
“Studies have shown that 90% of adult smokers begin in their teens or earlier with two-thirds becoming regular smokers before they reach the age of 19,” says Mike Rogers, Chief Executive Officer of SCT Management Services. “While we encourage all young people ‘not to start’ or ‘quit smoking cigarettes,’ we also ask that they share the ‘kick butts’ message with their parents, grandparents and other older adults in their lives, many whom are eligible to register for the various free smoking cessation products and services we offer. Sometimes, especially for parents, hearing the message of concern from their children or grandchildren is just the impetus they need to kick the cigarette smoking habit.”
For more information or to register online, visit the Smoking Cessation Trust’s website at www.smokefreela.org or call toll-free at 1-855-259-6346.