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Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States and in Louisiana. To address this enormous toll, the American Lung Association calls for the following actions to be taken by Louisiana's elected officials:

  1. Ensure smokefree protections for all bars and casino workers in all municipalities;
  2. Strengthen the existing statewide smokefree law to include bar and casino worker protections; and
  3. Sustain tobacco prevention and quit tobacco funding.
It was quite a busy year for tobacco control issues during the Louisiana legislative session in 2023 despite it being a fiscal only session. House Bill 179, introduced by Representative Wheat, would have prohibited the sale of flavored e-cigarettes except for tobacco, mint and menthol flavored e-cigarettes. The Lung Association advocated for this legislation to be extended to flavors and all tobacco products. HB 179 did not become law.

House Bill 635, introduced by Representative Hollis, passed, and became law to increase the e-cigarette tax from 5 cents/ml to 15 cents/ml with revenue dedicated to various non-tobacco control purposes, including a state Policy Salary Fund, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Office of the State Fire Marshall and the Louisiana Public Defender Board. HB 635 also included the establishment of a vapor product and alternative nicotine product directory. The Lung Association and its partners advocated for a higher tax on e-cigarettes as well as the funds to be dedicated to tobacco prevention and control.

Louisiana residents will benefit from the passage and implementation of House Bill 578 championed by Representative Glover to expand quitting tobacco insurance benefits. All insurance providers, including Medicaid, must offer quitting tobacco benefits for a minimum of six months with no barriers to coverage.

The influence of the tobacco industry was very apparent in many of the bills during the 2023 legislative session especially Senate Bill 224, House Bill 111, and House Bill 127. Senate Bill 224 attempted to reduce the tax on cigars but did not pass. House Bill 111 secured an exemption from the cigar and pipe tobacco tax for any products sampled at a cigar and pipe tobacco industry convention. House Bill 127 exempted certain tobacco products from being taxed when given as samples at various events.

There continues to be support within local municipalities for public health protections from secondhand smoke. The Town of Ringgold passed a comprehensive smokefree air ordinance in 2023. Casino and bar workers in this community are now protected from the dangers of secondhand smoke exposure. Unfortunately, despite the outcry in the city of Shreveport from residents and workers, the City Council amended the two-year-old smokefree air ordinance in favor of allowing smoking in casinos.

In 2024, the American Lung Association in Louisiana will join our tobacco control partners to educate state legislators about the health and economic benefits of strong tobacco control policies, including a comprehensive statewide smokefree air law. The Lung Association will also continue to work with partners in the Coalition for a Tobacco Free Louisiana to ensure successful passage and preservation of comprehensive local smokefree ordinances.

Louisiana Facts
Healthcare Costs Due to Smoking: $1,891,666,196
Adult Smoking Rate: 16.70%
High School Smoking Rate: 7.00%
High School Tobacco Use Rate: 25.50%
Middle School Smoking Rate: 3.80%
Smoking Attributable Deaths per Year: 7,210
Adult smoking data come from CDC's 2022 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. High school smoking and tobacco use rates are taken from the 2021 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System. Middle school smoking rate is taken from the 2017 Youth Tobacco Survey.

Health impact information is taken from the Smoking Attributable Mortality, Morbidity and Economic Costs (SAMMEC) software. Smoking attributable deaths reflect average annual estimates for the period 2005-2009 and are calculated for persons aged 35 years and older. Smoking-attributable healthcare expenditures are based on 2004 smoking-attributable fractions and 2009 personal healthcare expenditure data. Deaths and expenditures should not be compared by state.

Louisiana Information

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