New! The Montana Tobacco Quit Line now offers an American Indian Commercial Tobacco Quit Line with a dedicated line 1-855-372-0037 and web based enrollment American Indian Commercial Tobacco Quit Line. The service connects callers with Native Coaches, offers 10 weeks free counseling, free Nicotine Replacement Therapy, and reduced cost cessation medications. The call line is dual-staffed 7 days a week 10:30AM to 5:30PM. Callers may experience a wait time and may need to leave a message to receive a call back from the trained coaches. Read more below. (Calling 1-800-Quit-Now and asking for the American Indian Commercial Tobacco Program will also connect clients to the dedicated quit line.)
American Indian Project
Addressing the needs of American Indian Tribal Members on and off Montana's Reservations in regards to Commercial Tobacco Addiction.
"The diseases caused by tobacco addiction remain the leading causes of death in the United States and in Montana ... Tobacco use impacts every system of the body causing many diseases such as heart disease, COPD and several types of cancer. Tobacco also complicates serious health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, asthma, mental illness and substance abuse." - Richard H. Opper, Director, Department of Public Health and Human Services (MTUPP Progress Report, July 2014-June 2016).
Commercial tobacco use hits every area of Native communities. Highest rates of cigarette use, high rate of smokeless tobacco use, high rate of use among youth. Along with following the goals of MTUPP and CDC Best Practices, the American Indian Tobacco Prevention Specialists also educate local communities and members on the traditional intent and use of tobacco plants which helps to break the bonds with commercial tobacco companies and the high-cost of nicotine addiction. Understanding and participating in cultural activities, promoting native language development and hosting local events begin to pave the way to a life free from nicotine dependence. American Indian Tobacco Prevention Specialists Contact Information.
American Indian Specific Resources:
Cessation and Recovery from Commercial Tobacco Addiction, and other materials provide tribal perspective to the burden of commercial tobacco in Native communities. Order online under QuitLine materials.
"When I read the section about the contract with the plant and the cigarette smoker, I threw away my cigarettes that day. I (now) honor the plant the way it is meant to be and believe the power of the plant helped me quit my addiction.”
Montana's American Indians who use tobacco are specifically impacted by diabetes and lung cancer.
For more information please visit Montana Chronic Disease Diabetes and Cancer Control Programs.
The annual Youth Gathering of American Indians, Living in Two Worlds
Hosted by American Indian Tobacco Prevention Specialists is using an evidenced-based best practice for substance abuse prevention; the holistic approach to wellness is a traditional part of AI/AN belief systems, every community member is of value in empowering the community and the Youth Camp is a safe place to share, heal and plan for action. The youth gather for three days of learning, diversity, cultural exchange, community leadership, and fun. The youth follow much of the Best Practice Gathering of Native Americans (GONA) curriculum of belonging, mastery, interdependence and generosity, led by Tobacco Prevention Specialists and local educators. Participants learn the hosting tribe’s unique stories, prayers, and protocols. Native Games, swimming, nature hikes and crafts are also offered.
Students gain awareness and understanding of commercial tobacco, community dynamics, and self-empowerment. They leave with skills and resources to bring back to their reservation/urban community and become agents of change and future leaders. Each year up to 100 American Indian youth from across the state, ages ranging from 11-18 (dependent on year) come together for a three day camp-out at a revolving location. In this way each Reservation/Tribe/Urban Center has an opportunity to highlight their unique culture and geographic surroundings. Please watch an introductory video on the principles of GONA and the 2015 camp.
Annual camp locations:
2009 - Billings; 2010 – Missoula; 2011 – Fairmont Hot Spring; 2012 – Hayes, Fort Belknap; 2013 – Browning, Blackfeet; 2014 – Blue Bay, Confederated Salish and Kootenai; 2015 – Busby, Northern Cheyenne; 2016 – Flathead Lake, Confederated Salish and Kootenai; 2017 - Rocky Mountain College, Billings, Crow