Nathan M., age 54, Idaho; diagnosed with severe lung damage from secondhand smoke exposure; Nathan passed away in October 2013.

Quit Smoking this Father’s Day

Father’s Day is the perfect time to quit smoking.  Smoking not only causes damage to the smoker’s health, but the second- and third-hand smoke causes damage to the smoker’s children’s health as well.  Quitting smoking can be the single biggest thing a father can do to protect the health and wellbeing of his children.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that secondhand smoke is smoke from burning tobacco products like cigarettes, cigars, hookahs, or pipes.  Secondhand smoke also is smoke that has been exhaled, or breathed out, by the person smoking.

According to American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation, thirdhand smoke consists of the tobacco residue from cigarettes, cigars, and other tobacco products that is left behind after smoking and chemicals build up on surfaces and furnishings such as walls, ceilings, carpets, draperies, clothing, and other fabrics and other upholsteries.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2019, 20.9% of American Indians and Alaska Natives smoked cigarettes.  However also according to the CDC, in 2015, nearly 7 in 10 adult cigarette smokers wanted to quit smoking, and in 2018 more than half of adult cigarette smokers had made a quit attempt in the past year.

Traditional tobacco is different from commercial tobacco. Commercial tobacco products like cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars, and chew are manufactured and sold by the tobacco industry. Commercial tobacco products are highly addictive and contain cancer-causing chemicals and additives. Traditional tobacco is natural, not inhaled or addictive, and has no additives. Traditional tobacco is a completely different natural blend that is used exclusively by many Native American tribes for ceremony and prayer.

Keeping tobacco sacred, and respecting its ceremonial use is one way to begin the journey to live a smoke-free lifestyle.

The Truth Initiative has developed 10 Steps to Successfully Make a Plan to Quit Smoking:

Some tips that are outlined include:

  1. Set a quit date, and be strategic
  2. Identify triggers and track cigarettes
  3. Beat your triggers
  4. Get smart about your smoking addiction
  5. Choose a quit smoking aid with your doctor (such as gum, patch, etc)
  6. Tell someone, anyone
  7. Out with the old and in with the new
  8. Get ready, and get set with your quit aids along with your support group
  9. Go! Focus on getting through one day at a time
  10. If you need to, pick yourself back up

Other resources include the online community.  There are resources and a network of people ready to help your quit smoking.

The American Indian Commercial Tobacco Program is a great resource aimed to help Native Americans begin their journey to quit smoking while also preserving traditions.  Online help is available at, or by calling 1-855-5AI-QUIT (1-855-524-7848). is also a great resource which has programs aimed specifically for veterans, women, teens, and elders over 60.

Finally, 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) is the national phone number that will dial you into your state’s resources and support to quit smoking.  The quitSTART app is also a free smartphone app that help you quit smoking with tailored tips and inspiration.


Upcoming Events

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AAIP 52nd Annual Meeting & Health Conference | LEARN MORE