Cancer Center Joins Community Tobacco-Free Campaign

Cancer Center, Mayor Holden and other local healthcare organizations launch week-long “Breathe Free” Messaging


(Baton Rouge, La.) Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center, Mayor Melvin L. “Kip” Holden and other local healthcare organizations are uniting to raise public awareness about the dangers of tobacco use and the resources available to help people quit and get healthy. Through the “Breathe Free” campaign, running January 27 through February 3, the participating entities will simultaneously share information on how tobacco can impact health and the many resources available in the community to help people break the habit.

At the “Breathe Free” kick-off press conference, Dr. Brad Vincent, chair of the Lung Cancer Multidisciplinary Care Team at Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center, said that at least 80 percent of lung cancer deaths are caused by tobacco.

“The effects of smoking can be a major contributor to lung cancer, but stopping at any point can be beneficial to your health. The Cancer Center offers resources to help you quit, as well as lung cancer screenings for those who are longtime smokers,” Dr. Vincent commented.

As part of “Breathe Free” Mayor Holden is applauding the healthcare organizations for their tobacco-free campus policies.

“We’re proud of our area hospitals for coming together to send a message about the dangers of tobacco use and creating a healthy environment for their patients, visitors, and staff,” the Mayor said.

An estimated 17 percent of adults in East Baton Rouge Parish smoke. In Louisiana, approximately 690 adults die each year due to exposure to secondhand smoke and in an average week, 80 percent of Louisiana residents are exposed to secondhand smoke.

Secondhand smoke is a complex mixture of over 4,000 chemicals, at least 60 of which are known to cause cancer.

Click here for information on “Breathe Free,” tobacco cessation and other related resources.


Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center is the most comprehensive cancer center in Louisiana offering patients the convenience of receiving high-quality, advanced care close to home.

The Mayor’s Healthy City Initiative (Healthy BR) is a coalition of more than 70 partner organizations that communicate, coordinate, and collaborate around Baton Rouge’s greatest health priorities. The coalition has defined the four biggest health priorities as: obesity, HIV/AIDS, mental and behavioral health, and overuse of emergency rooms.