Smoking is a very difficult habit to break. Experts would agree the best way to stop smoking is to never start. If you're a smoker and you've tried to quit you know just how tough this nicotine addiction can be to break. The good news is that more Louisiana smokers are finding a way to fight through the difficult withdrawal from cigarettes and are becoming smoke-free.

America's Health Ranking Report recently issued the latest statistics on smoking across America. The number of smokers in Louisiana has decreased. Just 22% of Louisiana's  population smokes, that's compared to 24% of the population that smoked just one year ago.

CEO of the Smoking Cessation Trust, Mike Rogers told the Louisiana Radio Network that legislation against smoking and where people might light up has certainly played a role in the decrease in tobacco use.

Recently a ban on smoking in bars in New Orleans was passed.

We’ve seen similar kinds of bans across the state in some of the bigger cities. I know Monroe passed one a while back, and so did Alexandria.

In comparison to other state's in the union Louisiana now ranks 43rd. Last year in this same survey the state was ranked 26th.

Rogers suggested in his comments that many Louisianianians are trying to kick the habit. The health benefits of not smoking are almost instantaneous.

Twenty minutes after you quit smoking your blood pressure decreases to normal. Eight hours after you quit smoking the amount of carbon monoxide in your blood goes back to normal, and oxygen levels go to normal.

Despite this knowledge, many people find smoking cessation to be very difficult. Our suggestion is that if you're wanting to kick the habit then keep on trying. This addiction is a tough one to break but it can be done and there are a lot of people and organizations that are ready to help you and not judge you.