ANRF’s Raegan A. Carter Panelist at National Conference on Tobacco or Health (NCTOH)

Louisiana Consultants participated in NCTOH Conference and were part of a panel discussion on Wednesday, June 29, 2022, titled “Louisiana Champions: Leveling The Playing Field Through Smoke-Free Policies.”

Feamula Bradley, Regional Manager with the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco Free Living (TFL) facilitated the session, and panelists included Dr. David Holcombe, a public health physician (Alexandria, LA); Ivory Rosenthal-Davis, a nurse and advocate (Shreveport, LA); Councilwoman LeVette Fuller (Shreveport, LA); Councilwoman Deidre Ledbetter (New Iberia, LA); and ANR Foundation’s very own Louisiana Consultant, Raegan A. Carter.

The panelists gave the audience a lively discussion and overview of the challenges and opposition, and the community engagement needed to successfully pass local smokefree policies. Raegan in particular discussed how to prepare for the unexpected, as well as the improved health outcomes, community wellness and thriving businesses once a smokefree policy is implemented. Raegan also discussed how important engaging the local community is for success, as well as developing relationships with champions for smokefree on local city councils.

Councilwoman Ledbetter and Councilwoman Fuller discussed with the audience how they engaged their council colleagues and continue to engage on the issue of smokefree to ensure that the policies are implemented and not pushed back. Dr. Holcombe and Mrs. Rosenthal-Davis shared their experience with educating and engaging the community. The panelists shared great highlights from experiences and nuggets of information for successful community work. The NCTOH session attendees were highly engaged and asked great questions.

Raegan A. Carter is a tireless advocate for public health, health equity, and social justice and played a critical role in the Smokefree Baton Rouge Campaign. Raegan continues to maintain relationships with local policy makers, coalition members, business leaders, and musicians and entertainers in the area to ensure the ongoing success of next Louisiana campaign. Alongside Onjewel Smith and other ANRF team members she is currently working to make Louisiana Smokefree, one city, one Parish at a time.

“I was drawn to this work because as a black woman and public health advocate, I recognize that secondhand smoke exposure disproportionately impacts women, children, and families of color. Far too often, communities of color are dealing with health disparities because of the lack of effective public health policies, including smokefree air policies. My health, the health of my family, my friends, my community, and my state, keep me motivated and tirelessly committed to the work.”

—Raegan Carter