Combatting Secondhand Smoke in Louisiana
Secondhand smoke is smoke from the burning end of a tobacco product and the smoke exhaled by a person who smokes. It contains more than 4,000 chemicals, and at least 60 that cause cancer. Given that even brief exposure to smoke can be harmful to a person’s health, Well-Ahead Louisiana is committed to working with community leaders to reduce secondhand smoke and the threat it poses to Louisiana residents, especially those with health disparities.
What it Means to Geaux Smoke-Free
Protecting others from secondhand smoke can start in the places and spaces where we live, work and play. It might be at home, at work, at restaurants, even in schools and faith-based organizations. By implementing smoke-free policies in these places, exposure to secondhand smoke can be significantly reduced, which keeps the air healthy and clean for all Louisiana residents.
By definition, smoke-free means being free of exposure to or the use of any lighted or heated tobacco product. This includes items such as cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, hookah and other lighted or heated plant material. Since vapor products like e-cigarettes emit smoke and contain nicotine and harmful chemicals, they should also be prohibited in smoke-free environments.
It’s important to note that smoke-free is not tobacco-free. Tobacco-free goes a step further by prohibiting the use of all tobacco products, including chewing tobacco and dips.
Smoke- and tobacco-free policies can be custom structured for your type of organization. Well-Ahead provides resources and technical assistance to organizations working to implement place-based policies to geaux tobacco-free.
Smoke-Free Public Housing
Living in a smoke-free home is one of the best things you can do for your family’s health. As a result of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development federal rule, all housing authorities with public housing across the country are required to go smoke-free!
For the organizations that rent single family or multi-family dwellings, taking a stand against smoking can help with improving the health of residents and their families. In addition, a smoke-free policy can help reduce turnaround times for vacant units, lessen the risk of fire and lower the cost of maintenance for organizations.
As part of our commitment to reducing secondhand smoke, Well-Ahead connects organizations to public housing resources that can help to implement and maintain a smoke-free policy.
Secondhand Smoke Resources
- American Nonsmokers’ Right Foundation complied the Bridging the Gap Report that shares information on the importance of smoke-free policies, current smoke-free protections and which populations are least likely to be protected.
- The Louisiana Smoke-Free Air Act prohibits smoking in most public places and workplaces, including all restaurants with or without attached bars.
- The Louisiana Tobacco-Free K-12 Schools Act prohibits use of all tobacco products on all K-12 school property, including buses.
- The Louisiana Act 211 Smoke-free Policies for Colleges and Universities Statewide prohibits smoking on public post-secondary education campuses.
Public Housing Resources
- Smoke-Free Public Housing Guide is for housing agency directors and property managers on the Geaux Smoke-Free Housing Process.
- The HUD Smoke-Free Housing Guidebook provides a roadmap to public housing agencies for adopting, implementing, and maintaining smoke-free housing policies.
- CDC Healthy Homes Information highlights the dangers of secondhand smoke exposure in homes and provides resources for smoking cessation and secondhand smoke prevention.
- HUD Smoke-Free Public Housing is a document on the smoke-free public housing rule.