by City of Alexandria
Four Healthier Air for All Champions recognized for their smoke-free efforts
The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL) and the City of Alexandria have just celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Alexandria Smoke-Free Air Ordinance, which went into effect January 1, 2012, with a ceremony at the Hotel Bentley. Alexandria was the first municipality in Louisiana to pass a comprehensive smoke-free ordinance that includes bars and gaming facilities, which has led to the passage of 29 other smoke-free ordinances across Louisiana.
Current and former elected officials and advocates who helped pass and maintain Alexandria’s smoke-free ordinance were in attendance, including Jeffrey W. Hall, Mayor, City of Alexandria; Mark A. Thomas, Deputy Secretary, Louisiana Department of Health; Lee Rubin, City Councilman At-Large, City of Alexandria; Jennifer Gilchrist, TFL Regional Manager, Region 6; Dr. Earl Benjamin-Robinson, TFL Director; Dr. David Holcombe, Regional Administrator/Medical Director, Louisiana Office of Public Health, Region 6; Roosevelt Johnson, former City Council President, City of Alexandria; Mitzi LaSalle, former City Councilwoman, City of Alexandria; Chubby Carrier, Zydeco Grammy Winner; and more.
“Ten years ago, the community decided to put health first and extend the current smoke-free ordinance to include bars and gaming facilities,” said Mayor Jeffrey W. Hall. “That decision has had a positive impact on our community by reducing secondhand smoke, encouraged residents to utilize Quitline services, and increased revenue at our bars and gaming facilities. I applaud the Mayor and City Council members who were instrumental in passing this ordinance in 2012 and look forward to celebrating even more milestones on the 20th anniversary.”
During the ceremony, TFL also recognized four Healthier Air for All Champions for their efforts around the passage of the Alexandria Smoke-Free Ordinance. The Champions are Chubby Carrier, 2010 Grammy winner for Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album; Greg Gormanous, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Psychology, at LSU Alexandria; Roosevelt Johnson, former City Council President, and Training and Development Coordinator at Renaissance Home for Youth; and Kitty Wynn, Director of Prevention for the Central LA Human Services District.
“Significant, major, community change is hard and rarely happens without team collaboration, cooperation, and a common purpose,” said Dr. Earl Benjamin-Robinson, director of TFL. “These four Healthier Air for All Champions each played a vital role in garnering support for this ordinance and sharing the positive impact it would, and ultimately did, have on the community.”
Currently, approximately 30 percent of Louisiana is protected from secondhand smoke due to local ordinances.
Those interested in implementing an ordinance in their area can visit https://healthierairforall.