Tobacco Prevention and Cessation

Chickasaw Nation Citizen Benefits

The Chickasaw Nation's Tobacco Prevention and Cessation program exists to assist individual smokers in quitting, as well as to help ensure that potential smokers never take up the habit. "Native Americans experience higher rates of tobacco use than any other group," explains Director of Prevention Services Barbara Underwood. "It's important to have this program within the Chickasaw Nation so that we can help our people to make healthier choices." Melinda Stone, Tobacco Prevention Services Coordinator, adds that many people want to quit smoking but have no idea where to start or who to talk to. For that purpose, the most widely utilized resource in this program is the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline (1-800-QUITNOW), funded by the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust Fund. The helpline provides both information and confidential one-on-one counseling to smokers who are interested in learning what their best strategies for quitting are. The program also offers nicotine replacement therapy options, such as nicotine patches and lozenges, completely free of charge. Another area in which the Tobacco Prevention and Cessation program effects positive change is by drawing up and promoting tobacco-free environment policies for workplaces throughout the Chickasaw Nation. The benefits of this advocacy extend not only to smokers but to everyone who would otherwise be exposed to secondhand smoke. To learn more about the resources available, visit www.Chickasaw.net/Prevention.

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