The American Lung Association says Louisiana needs to consider a dramatic increase in their cigarette tax….
A Tulane study raises concerns that scientists are underestimating the rate the sea level ins low lying coastal zones. Matt Doyle has more.
The details are apparently still being finalized, but reports say LSU football Coach Ed Orgeron will receivie a contract extension. Kevin Barnhart has the story.
Louisiana receives a failing grade on the American Lung Association’s Tobacco Control Report Card. One of the biggest reasons, Louisiana’s below average cigarette tax that sits at 1.08 cents a pack. Director of Advocacy Ashley Lyerly says if Louisiana were to double that per pack tax, the state would see a notable drop in the number of smokers.
The average national cigarette tax is 1.79 per pack of 20.
Lyerly says the state is doing a poor job properly funding programs that help residents quit, or keep them from starting in the first place, evidenced by how much the state would need to spend to meet a CDC recommended level of funding for tobacco prevention initiatives…
The report notes 23 percent of Louisianans smoke, a habit that comes with a 1.89 billion dollar price tag, and over seven thousand deaths a year for the state.
Finally, the ALA calls for all states to adopt a minimum purchase age for tobacco products of 21-years-old, the same age as alcohol. Lyerly says if you can keep people from smoking in their youth, they are far less likely to become smokers as adults.
The CDC says 12 percent of high schoolers, and four percent of middle schoolers smoke cigarettes in Louisiana.
Tulane researchers say current models estimating the level of sea level rise in low lying coastal areas are underestimating how quickly we’re sliding into the sea. Wetland scientist and grad student Molly Keogh says at the moment they believe we’re losing about a half inch of relative sea level every year, but it may be more than that, a problem that could have profound implications.
Keogh says the general sea level is on the rise due to the usual suspects related to climate change, but Louisiana and other marshlands are particularly susceptible because rising seas aren’t the only factor involved in our gradual sinking.
Keogh says due to the vulnerable nature of Louisiana’s heavily coastal population, the state is pursuing a several innovative coastal restoration plans, including an effort in New Orleans to retain more water from rainstorms to help prevent soil compaction, and river diversion projects.
According to the American Gaming Association, 1-in-6 viewers of the Super Bowl will have money on the game, with 52 percent betting on the Rams, and 48 percent betting on the Patriots. AGA spokesperson Sara Slane says that means there’s plenty of money up for grabs this Sunday.
Legislation is likely to be introduced this year to have sports betting legalized in Louisiana. Slane says across the nation, eight out of ten people support the legalization of sports betting in their state.
Currently sports betting is legal in eight states. Two of the states that legalized sports betting last year, Mississippi and Rhode Island, have introduced bills to fully legalize wagering via mobile devices.
There are reports LSU and head football coach Ed Orgeron are working on a contract extension. Sources say the precise details are still being finalized. Orgeron’s current deal runs through the 2021 season, guaranteeing Coach O $3.5 million yearly. Tiger Rag editor James Moran says news of an extension isn’t shocking.
Orgeron’s current base pay makes him the 36th highest paid head coach in college football, putting him in the bottom half of the SEC head coaches. Moran says any new contract would need approval from the LSU Board of Supervisors and they next meet March 15th.
Moran says locking Orgeron in as head coach to a longer contract would be beneficial in attracting top end talent.