Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas yesterday joined County health officials and the Ralphs Grocery Company to launch a smoking-cession campaign that will involve the largest free distribution of nicotine patches and nicotine gum ever in California.
The 30,000 two-week starter kits, funded from the County’s allotment from a settlement of a lawsuit against the tobacco industry and contribution from the L.A. Care Health Plan, will be distributed at 47 participating Ralph’s pharmacies while supplies last.
Smoking is the leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States and costs the nation about $4.3 billion due to related diseases and death each year.
“The prevalence of this particular problem is highest in the African-American and Asian/Pacific Islanders,” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas, who joined Dr. Jonathan Fielding, the County’s health officer at a Ralphs store near Staples Arena to launch the campaign.
The Supervisor said “remarkable strides” have been made in reducing smoking in the County through the efforts of public cessation programs.
“But we also know that there is still a whole lot more work to be done that will require more innovation,” he said, lauding the public-private collaboration of the new campaign.
County residents 18 years of age or older are eligible to receive the anti-smoking kits. Participants will be screened for eligibility to ensure that the nicotine replacement therapy will not conflict with any pre-existing conditions. They will also be required to participate in a follow-up survey.
According to Dr. Jonathan Fielding, Director of Public Health, “Young African-American and Latina women 15 to 24 in central and south Los Angeles have been particularly impacted by sexually transmitted disease.”
As a result of the increase in sexually transmitted diseases, county officials launched the nation’s first and largest home test kit campaign.
The DontThinkKnow.org program will allow women to order free test kits, find out if they have chlamydia or gonorrhea, then get information on where to seek treatment – all anonymously online or through text messages.
Visit: https://www.dontthinkknow.org/ to get a STD kit.
The LA County Tobacco Control & Prevention Program is working together
with Ralphs and L.A. Care to give away the largest free supply of nicotine
patches and nicotine gum in California starting Monday, June 15. And we need your help to spread the word and to help LA Quit!!
Anyone 18 years of age or older can volunteer for this important public health initiative. Volunteers are needed at 47 Ralphs store pharmacies throughout LA County. Volunteers are needed to help the public complete surveys, direct people to the pharmacy, help pharmacy staff, distribute quit smoking materials and resources, and answer general questions.
See flyer (PDF) for more information.
Visit L.A. Quits for more information.