The New Orleans City Council recently passed an ordinance that will restrict new businesses from selling tobacco products if the business is located within 1,000 feet of a school, church, public park or recreation facility.
The Joseph Project, a faith-based organization, spearheaded the ordinance, which was originally designed to cover only one neighborhood in New Orleans (Central City). With the help of city Councilwoman Stacy Head, a champion for the cause, The Joseph Project leaders were able to expand the ordinance to all of Orleans Parish.
Congratulations to the Tangipahoa Parish Council for passing the Parish Clean Air Law, which prohibits smoking in parish buildings, parks and official vehicles. This marks an important step in the right direction for Tangipahoa and for all of Louisiana.
Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death and disease in the United States.
• Half of all long-term smokers die prematurely from smoking-related causes. In Louisiana, an estimated 6,400 adults are projected to die each year from smoking.
• For each person who dies, another 20 people are suffering with at least one serious tobacco-related illness.
• If current smoking rates among people younger than age 18 continue, an estimated 109,000 of these Louisiana youth are projected to die from smoking. The economic impact of tobacco use is equally staggering.
• Louisiana spends approximately $1,474 million each year in smoking-attributable medical expenses, including an estimated $663 million on smoking-attributable Medicaid medical costs.
• Louisiana also loses an estimated $1,919 million each year in lost productivity from an experienced workforce that dies prematurely.
Additional costs occur each year in medical treatment and lost productivity as a result of exposure to secondhand smoke.
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