It's time to make those New Year's resolutions. Many people will resolve to eat healthier, exercise more or kick their smoking habit. The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Office of Behavioral Health is ushering in the New Year with some big changes at its state-operated community behavioral health clinics in Region 7.
Beginning January 1 you won't be able to light-up anywhere on the grounds of these Northwest Louisiana state-operated clinics:
The new policy is part of DHH Secretary Bruce D. Greenstein's initiative to help make Louisiana healthier, this includes making all DHH campuses tobacco free.
"Each year tobacco claims 6,400 lives in Louisiana and costs the state $1.5 billion in health care," Secretary Greenstein said. "We all own our own health. Every day we have to make decisions to make ourselves, our families, our communities and our state healthier. I commend our Behavioral Health staff in these communities for leading this effort, which will only spread throughout DHH campuses in the coming year."
Earlier this year, the regional behavioral health clinics began preparing for the move to tobacco-free campuses. Preparation activities included educating clients, staff, contractors and Regional Advisory Council members on the new policy, providing tobacco cessation resources and posting signage and displaying educational materials in each clinic lobby.
Anyone wanting to kick the habit can call the 24-hour Louisiana Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-Quit-Now (774-8669) for free and confidential advice and telephone support or log on to www.QuitWithUsLA.org for tobacco cessation resources and tools.