NEW ORLEANS – The Smoking Cessation Trust (SCT) recently crossed another major milestone by exceeding 60,000 applicants (60,288, as of Sept. 7), who have made the commitment to do one of the hardest things they will probably ever do in their lives—quit smoking.
According to the 2015 America’s Health Rankings® Report from the United Health Foundation, Louisiana presently ranks 46 out of 50 states for tobacco use, with nearly a quarter of the state’s residents smoking.
The Trust, which has members in every parish of the state, is working towards the goal of helping 210,000 Louisianans become smoke-free by 2022.
The Smoking Cessation Trust, now in the fourth year of its 10-year program, 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 smoked a cigarette before September 1, 1988.
Applicants who register for the smoking cessation program and are approved (usually in one day) as qualified recipients will be eligible to receive cessation products and services completely free.
“As we continue to partner with health systems and providers, such as Willis-Knighton in Shreveport, Imperial Health in Lake Charles, Our Lady of the Lake in Baton Rouge, East Jeff General Hospital, West Jefferson and others across the state, we are able to provide our free smoking cessation products and services to a wider audience of potential “Scott Class” members who are ready to quit,” said Mike Rogers, CEO, Smoking Cessation Trust Management Services.
“Additionally, as smokers begin to realize that the benefits of quitting are not only physical, but financial (pack-a-day smokers in Louisiana can save over $2,000 dollars annually), they will be motivated to increase their rate of attempts to stop smoking, and may successfully quit for good,” added Rogers.
While the Smoking Cessation Trust is unable to spend any of its more than $150 million in funds on advertising, it achieves its registration goals with the support of its many statewide health care partners. The program strives to share its quit messaging with Louisiana smokers through all other means of communication and outreach possible.
For a list of statewide smoking cessation providers, visit www.smokingcessationtrust.org/files/AvailableServices/Group%20Cessation%20Providers.pdf.
For more information or to apply, visit the Smoking Cessation Trust’s website at www.smokefreela.org; call locally at 504-529-5665 or toll-free at 855-259-6346.
Posted on Fri, September 23, 2016
by The Lafourche Gazette