(Concho, Oklahoma 10/11/17) Aaron Williams – CDC’s Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country (GHWIC) Tobacco Program Coordinator for Southern Plains Tribal Health Board and Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribal member, installs the first of several Quitline signage on gas pumps at the Cheyenne & Arapaho Travel Plaza at Concho, Oklahoma. The Southern Plains Tribal Health Board is partnering with TSET (Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust) to promote the Quitline at tribal travel plazas and other retail locations within Oklahoma. The Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribes operate a second travel plaza in the far western Oklahoma town of Hammon, where signage will also be placed. In addition to placement of the signs on tribal travel plazas, other non-tribal gas stations located within Oklahoma will have the TSET 1-800-Quitnow signage on their gas pumps as well.
The Oklahoma Quitline promotes quitting tobacco via users taking advantage of the free calls to the Quitline. The Quitline has counselors familiar and sensitive to Native Americans use of traditional and ceremonial tobacco versus commercial tobacco.
For several months, the GHWIC staff have met and discussed with the Governor of the Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribes how best to address the high tobacco use among tribes. This opportunity of placement of signage on tribal travel plaza areas is from one of several strategies to address to tobacco use that are evidence-based, which in this case is to convene leadership meetings across tribes to share information and develop partnerships across tribes. One tribal official involved in discussions commented by saying “If this can stop even just one youth from picking up a cigarette and engaging in smoking, it’s worth it to us.” The notion that for every sign we can put up on tribal property is one less area that tobacco companies have to market their products to tribal members.
The SPTHB Staff hope to expand this partnership and signage to other tribally-owned travel plazas in Oklahoma. For more information regarding the Southern Plains Tribal Health Board’s CDC funding of Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country, please call (405) 652-9200 or visit Our Grants page.