Jim Pittman

influencer marketing | content | population health | cause advocate

Members receive FREE counseling, quit-line coaching, nicotine replacement and prescription medications to help them QUIT…at NO COST to Louisiana taxpayers, employers or the state.

UPDATED, February 1, 2017 — The Smoking Cessation Trust began enrolling members in April 2012. Since that time, the free program to help Louisiana smokers quit has approved 66,387 out of 69,151 membership applications (96%) submitted. The program generated 22,200 applications in 2016, up 2,093 (10%) from 2015 total applications.

The Smoking Cessation Trust offers free medications, nicotine replacement therapy (gum, patches, lozenges, inhalers), group and individual counseling, and quit-line coaching to help Louisiana residents who started smoking prior to September 1, 1988 quit. All programs and services are provided at NO COST TO LOUISIANA TAXPAYERS, employers, managed care, Medicaid, Medicare, the state or the federal government.

The Trust has averaged 1,190 new member applications per month since April 2012, 1,618 per month since January 1, 2014, and received another 2,228 in January 2017.

“I really want to THANK YOU. June 21st will be a year that I have not smoked a cigarette, nor do I plan to ever again. I tried and failed so many times, but after registering here (on www.SmokeFreeLA.org ) and reading the ‘plan to quit’ material, I finally made it to my doctor’s office and got my script for medication. After 31 years of smoking, I can now truly say I am a non-smoker. This plan made it easy for me to quit.” — Deneise Means, Alexandria, LA, 5/12/16

Thanks to referrals from health influencers throughout Louisiana, the Trust has averaged 1,854 new member applications throughout 2016. The Smoking Cessation Trust receives referrals from healthcare providers, health advocates, health systems, health plans, independent pharmacies and the friends and loved ones of smokers throughout Louisiana. 

Former United States Surgeon, Dr. Regina Benjamin introduces and discusses the importance of the Smoking Cessation Trust to Louisiana residents in this video:

The Smoking Cessation Trust is the result of a court judgment in a 14-year-old class action lawsuit that ordered certain tobacco companies to fund a statewide, 10-year smoking cessation program. Because the Trust is not allowed to use a single penny on advertising or traditional marketing, the program relies heavily on grass roots communications efforts, community outreach, social media and media relations activity to build awareness. In fact, you can find the Smoking Cessation Trust on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter (@SmokeFreeLA).

The only program of its kind in the United States, the Smoking Cessation Trust began enrolling members in 2012 and hopes to achieve its goal of helping 210,000 Louisianans become smoke-free by 2022.

“Regi’s Story” is one of three heart-warming testimonial examples of a Smoking Cessation Trust success story. Regi Lester smoked cigarettes for 35 years. Almost every family photograph featured Regi with cigarette in-hand. Jules Poirier, MD, Director of Respiratory Care at West Jefferson Medical Center and Smoking Cessation Trust helped Regi to quit for good. West Jefferson is one of many healthcare institutions throughout Louisiana partnering with the Trust to help smokers quit. Check out “Regi’s Story”:

Here are just a few of the many written testimonials submitted by members:

So far it is two months since I quit (cold turkey) and the cravings for a cigarette are getting less and less. Hooray!” – Smoking Cessation Trust member from Covington, LA, 1/2/15

We registered last year for your program, and were not motivated to quit. Ten days ago, we put patches on that we got through your program, and are on the path to becoming non-smokers. Just wanted to say thanks.” – Smoking Cessation Trust member from Baton Rouge, LA, 3/13/15

Hi! So far we are doing good! We tried the lozenges but they gave me hiccups and my husband heartburn, so when we go Thursday we will get our step 2 patch and some gum. Thank you for having this program available for citizens like us to help us quit smoking!” — Smoking Cessation Trust member from Scott, LA, 3/8/15.

Thank you so much for helping me get out of my ugly smoking habit. I am happy to announce that I stopped smoking through your free drug assistance program since October 5, 2014, though I am still taking the last of the refills! May God bless you all. Thank you once again!” Smoking Cessation Trust member from New Orleans, LA, 12/2/14

I would just like to inform you all that as of today 11/20/2014, I have been a non-smoker for 17 months. Thank you for all the support that you’ve given me in the form of a paid prescription for welbutrin and financial/moral support for smoking cessation programs such as the one given by Our Lady of the Lake in Baton Rouge. Smoke?….I don’t do that anymore!!! Smoking Cessation Trust member from Baton Rouge, LA, 11/20/14

I thank you for the free medication and the program. It has helped me beat a battle that I’ve struggled with for years. December 2nd will be six months from my last cigarette! Thanks again.” — Smoking Cessation Trust member from Marrero, LA, 11/20/14

Would like to let your group know that with the help of this program my personal goal has been achieved as of last March 2013. Thank you very much for the help with the medicine.” – Smoking Cessation Trust member from Luling, LA, 11/19/14

Thanks to your program my last cigarette was December 15, 2013. I have smoked for over fifty years and tried to quit probably fifty times. With your program I was finally successful. Thanks.” – Smoking Cessation Trust member from Saint Martinville, LA, 11/19/14

Lillian Woods began smoking when she was 15 years old. She was 61 at the time of this film. Now, with the help of Dr. Jody Staff, Cardiovascular Institute of the South and the Smoking Cessation Trust she’s on her way to quitting for good. Check out “Lillian’s Story”:

Mary Part Bennett started smoking when she was 25 years old. 40 years later, with the help of Smoking Cessation Trust and Mickie Lesage, Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist at Ochsner Health System‘s program, she’s well on her way to quitting for good. Here’s “Mary’s Story”:


About the Smoking Cessation Trust:

The 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 210,000 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. 

For information or to register on line with the Smoking Cessation Trust, visit: www.SmokeFreeLA.org or call 504-529-5665 or toll free at 1-855-259-6346.

Here’s an ever-expanding list of Smoking Cessation Trust provider partners located throughout Louisiana:

Affinity Health Group, Baton Rouge General, Cardiovascular Institute of the South, Daughters of Charity Health Centers, East Jefferson General Hospital,Imperial Health, Louisiana Heart Hospital, LSU School of Public Health, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center, Minute Clinic/CVS Health, North Oaks Health System, Ochsner Health System, Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group, The Rapides Foundation, St. Francis Medical Center, St. Tammany Parish Hospital, West Jefferson Medical Center, Willis-Knighton Health System

The Smoking Cessation Trust also participates in Pfizer’s Krewe de Quit program. Krewe de Quit is a way to quit smoking with the support of friends. It brings the Mardi Gras krewe tradition to the quit. 


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