Louisiana ranks fifth in the nation for the number of smokers who died from lung cancer, according to research from the American Cancer Society. Thirty-two percent of all cancer deaths in Louisiana are attributed to smoking. Chronic Disease Director with the Louisiana Department of Health, Melissa Martin, says LDH is doing what they can to reduce the number of smokers. She says that starts with preventing kids from picking up the habit.

“We’re working together to look at protective policies, as well as programs to really educate the youth in our state,” Martin said.

The report shows Louisiana ranks second for the number of male smokers who died from lung cancer, at 38%. The rate for women was 25%, coming in at number 8 nationwide. Martin says LDH is committed to supporting nonsmoker’s ability to decrease their exposure to second hand smoke to try and keep those numbers down.

“We’re working to create tobacco-free environments where we live, learn, work, and play, such as in work sites or restaurants,” Martin said.

Martin says the state also offer a free comprehensive quit line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW to educate the public on how to kick their habit.

“Anyone in our state is able to call in and receive quit coaching, online services, as well as free nicotine replacement therapy,” Martin said.