Blue Cross encourages smokers to quit for a day with the Great American Smokeout on Thursday, Nov. 21

Nov. 20, 2019

BATON ROUGE – Each year, cigarette smoking causes 1 out of 5 deaths in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society. Cigarette smoking accounts for 29% of all cancer deaths in the United States, making it the leading cause of cancer-related deaths. Additionally, the CDC has identified 2,172 cases of lung injury, and 42 deaths, caused by e‑cigarette or vaping product use.

According to Tobacco-Free Kids, 7,200 adults in Louisiana die from their own smoking each year. The rate of adults in Louisiana who smoke (23.1%) is higher than the national average (17.1%). Additionally, the rate of high school students in Louisiana who smoke (12.3%) is almost twice as high as the national average (5.8%).

The Great American Smokeout is an annual event, held this year on Thursday, Nov. 21. Sponsored by the American Cancer Society, the event encourages tobacco users to quit for one day. Quitting smoking, vaping or other tobacco products is hard, but even just one day of quitting can be a step in the right direction to a healthier, tobacco-free life.

While about 20 million Americans try to quit using tobacco each year, only a fraction (1.4 million, or 7%) succeed. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana offers its members a number of resources to help them quit smoking permanently, including free access to a team of nurses, dietitians and social workers who offer health coaching and support. For more information about these resources, visit the Stronger Than website.

Check your insurance benefits
Most Blue Cross members have access to tobacco cessation benefits, which could include screening for tobacco use; behavioral interventions, such as counseling sessions for all adults, including pregnant women; or FDA prescription drugs such as Zyban for adults who are not pregnant. To check their own benefits coverage, members should call the customer service number on their ID cards.

More resources

  • Quit with Us, Louisiana! is a free smoking cessation program that offers a wide range of resources, including a toll-free quitline, help with medication, information on creating a quit plan, and more.
  • Well-Ahead Louisiana is an initiative started by the Louisiana Department of Health that promotes healthy workplaces and tobacco-free environments in Louisiana. The Well-Ahead website includes a wealth of information about smoking cessation.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is committed to our mission to improve the health and lives of Louisianians. Founded in New Orleans in 1934, we are a tax-paying nonprofit health insurer with offices in every major region to serve our customers. We were recognized in 2019 as an honoree of The Civic 50, named by Points of Light as one of the 50 most community-minded companies in the United States. 

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. We are a private mutual company, owned by our policyholders, with an independent Louisiana Board of Directors and no shareholders. We invite all Louisianians to visit our website or talk to us on social media.