SAINT PAUL, MN – The National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Smokefree.gov initiative and the Indian Health Service (IHS) have announced the availability of SmokefreeNATIVE, a free text messaging program to help American Indian/Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) quit smoking commercial tobacco.
The American Indian Cancer Foundation (AICAF) in collaboration with the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, supported NCI and IHS in their efforts to create a culturally aligned digital resource to improve access to evidence-based smoking cessation support for AI/ANs. This project supports new actions federal agencies are taking to advance the mission of the White House Cancer Moonshot.
Traditional tobacco has been used for spiritual and medicinal purposes by AI/ANs for generations and is central to culture, spirituality and healing. This lifeway was prohibited until the American Indian Religious Freedom Act was passed in 1978, which led to increases in commercial tobacco use as a replacement for traditional tobacco. Due to cultural shifts, commercial tobacco use is a driver of health inequities among AI/AN populations.
SmokefreeNATIVE is a 6–8 week (depending on when a quit date is set) texting program that braids together evidence-based smoking cessation support with key themes and content reflecting Native cultural experiences, worldviews, and traditions.
The American Indian Cancer Foundation (AICAF) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that was established to address the tremendous cancer inequities faced by American Indian and Alaska Native communities. AICAF’s board members and employees have an array of experience serving the health needs of our people.
CancerHelp Online® is a patient education program of The CancerHelp Institute, official Content Distribution Partner of the National Cancer Institute.
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