NEW ORLEANS – Louisiana smokers looking for an easy and thoughtful gift to offer to their loved ones this holiday season need only look as far as their back porch. In addition to fighting mall traffic, spending hundreds of dollars on expensive jewelry and fighting crowds for that perfect last-minute item, tobacco users can give the greatest gift of all: The gift of good health. 

By taking their smoking outside, Louisiana smokers give their loved ones, friends and family a healthier environment in which to enjoy the holidays. 

“Of course, if they want to give their family—and themselves—the ultimate gift of good health, they could quit smoking altogether,” said David W. Hood, secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals. “But we recognize that with the stress of the holiday season and all the activity it entails, simply stepping outside to light up would do a great deal to make the season safer for everyone.” 

Because the holidays are a time when families demonstrate their love for each other, Breathe Easy Bayou offers these simple (and free) ways to give the gift of good health: 

  • Whenever you choose to smoke, take your cigarette outside

  • Never smoke around children under any circumstance

  • Patronize smoke-free restaurants whenever possible, especially when you’re dining with children

  • Set a good example by keeping cigarettes away from children

  • When you’re ready to quit smoking, call 1-800-LUNG-USA for assistance

The focus of the Breathe Easy Bayou campaign is to educate people about the dangers of secondhand smoke. The campaign’s Web site,, provides a resource for visitors to learn how secondhand smoke affects different populations of Louisiana, including children, pregnant women, business owners and restaurant and bar workers.

About Louisiana Tobacco Control Program

The Louisiana Office of Public Health Tobacco Control Program began in 1993. The program is focused on environmental and policy change providing community and statewide partnership grants and min grants to communities to coordinate community planning and capacity-building activities regarding tobacco prevention and control.