Priority Area: Smoking Cessation

Success Measure:
fewer smokers by 2030

Louisiana 2023 Ranking:
43rd up from 48th in 2020
GOAL: End smoking by changing behavior, advancing policy and expanding access to comprehensive smoking cessation services.

REASON: Smoking is the number one cause of preventable death in Louisiana. As of 2022, almost 20% of adults in Louisiana and 14% in the United States continue to smoke.
WIN! Louisiana legislature mandates comprehensive smoking cessation coverage including individual and group counseling and pharmacotherapy by all payors. READ MORE
LA Rate
US Rate
Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable deaths in Louisiana (CDC). As of 2023, almost 17% of adults in Louisiana continue to smoke. A 3% decrease is required to meet the national average (AHR).
In Louisiana...
adults die from smoking-related illnesses each year
spent on healthcare costs due to smoking in 2009
was received from the CDC for tobacco prevention and control activities in 2020
Extinguishing the Tobacco Epidemic in Louisiana | CDC
Who is affected most?
or less yearly income
The Medicaid populations smokes almost at a rate of about 2.5 times higher than the private insurance population (American Lung Association).
of those who identify as multiracial
of those who have no high school diploma
of those who are ages 45-64
living in rural communities
of those who identify as LGBTQ+
of those who have difficulty with self-care

Explore Smoking in Louisiana | 2023 Annual | AHR (

What we should know and do to drive change:

Issue specific to Secondhand Smoke
  • Since 1964, about 2,500,000 people who did not smoke died from health problems caused by secondhand smoke exposure.
  • Health problems caused by secondhand smoke in adults who do not smoke include coronary heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer, as well as adverse reproductive health effects in women, including low birth weight.
  • There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS); even brief exposure can cause immediate harm.
  • Secondhand smoke exposure can produce harmful inflammatory and respiratory effects within 60 minutes of exposure which can last for at least three hours after exposure.
  • Secondhand smoke can cause sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), respiratory infections, ear infections, and asthma attacks in infants and children.
Who is affected most?
  • Almost two of every five children 3-11 years of age, including over half of non-Hispanic Black children, were exposed to secondhand smoke during 2017- 2018.
  • During 2017-2018, secondhand smoke exposure among non-Hispanic Black individuals and those living below the poverty level continued to be approximately twice as high compared with non-Hispanic White individuals and those living above the poverty level, respectively.
  • People with lower incomes
  • People with less education
  • People who live in rental and multi-unit housing or who live with someone who smokes inside the home
  • People who work in environments not covered by smoke-free air laws. Currently, only 32.1% of the population is covered, and Louisiana lags behind the nation in its smoke free laws, as 62.3% of the United States population is covered. (AHR)

The most effective way to provide protection from secondhand smoke are smoke free air policies. Twenty-one studies showed that smoke free laws and policies in the workplace were linked to a 3.4% decrease in tobacco prevalence CDC secondhand smoke exposure. Smoke-free ordinances, including bans in bars and casinos, will decrease the smoking prevalence rate in Louisiana, prevent initiation of smoking among youth, and reduce exposure to secondhand smoke.

Win!! Many communities across Louisiana have comprehensive smoke-free ordinances. ACCOMPLISHMENTS | Healthier Air for All

Is my community protected?
Where do I find out more?
Issue specific to Smoking Cessation

​Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable deaths in Louisiana (CDC).

As of 2022, almost 20% of adults in Louisiana continue to smoke. A 6% decrease is required to meet the national average (AHR).

Adult cigarette smokers. Adult prevalence is highest among Louisianians who earn less than $49,000 (AHR).

Who is affected most?

Explore Smoking in Louisiana | 2022 Annual | AHR (

  • Earn less than $49,000 (AHR)
  • Identify as multiracial (24%)
  • Less than high school education (37% prevalence)
  • Under age 64
  • Men
  • Live in rural communities
In my community
PLACES provides model-based, population-level analysis and community estimates of health measures to all counties, places (incorporated and census designated places), census tracts, and ZIP Code Tabulation Areas (ZCTAs) across the United States.Learn more about PLACES.

WIN! Louisiana legislature mandates comprehensive smoking cessation coverage including individual and group counseling and pharmacotherapy by all payors. READ MORE

  • Research indicates that smokers who receive a combination of behavioral treatment and cessation medications quit at higher rates than those who receive minimal intervention.
Issue specific to Vaping

LA|US Rates:
LA Rate: 26% Amongst high school students.
US Rate: 19% Amongst high school students.

Who is affected most?

CATCH My Breath program is based on the “psychosocial determinants of e-cigarette susceptibility, initiation, and sustain use and is designed to prevent e-cigarette use among 5th-12th graders. The program has been shown to significantly reduce the likelihood of e-cigarette use among students who complete the program.

Six Texas schools that applied the Catch My Breath intervention and showed that increases in e-cigarette use were significantly lower in intervention schools (2.8%-4.9%) than the 6 control schools that did not provide the intervention (2.7%-8.9%). (PHR)    
Research has shown that use of the CATCH My Breath curriculum resulted in
1) reductions in nicotine vaping use
2) increases in nicotine vaping knowledge
3) increases in positive perceptions of vape-free living
4) reductions in overall tobacco use

WIN!! In December 2019, Congress passed Tobacco legislation that raised the federal minimum age able to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21, including e-cigarettes.

Download our Healthy State Fact Sheet on Smoking Cessation