Capacity Builders, Inc. has been leading drugs, alcohol, and tobacco prevention through the Navajo Youth Builders (NYB) Coalition since 2009. One of out latest programs, Tobacco Cessation & Prevention Program aim to increase culture awareness of the Native traditional and ceremonial use of tobacco among Navajo Youth and to increase local knowledge about the dangers of commercial tobacco use. The funding for this program was provided by the New Mexico Indian Affairs Department.
Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable diseases in the United States. During adolescence and young adulthood, tobacco use and nicotine addiction begins to take place. The nicotine exposure during adolescence can lead to addiction, may harm brain development, and could lead to sustained tobacco use among youth.
Goal 1: To increase cultural awareness of the Native traditional and ceremonial use of tobacco among Native Youth.
Goal 2: To promote the establishment of “Workplaces and Public Spaces Free from Commercial Tobacco” in these rural and isolated areas within Navajo communities.
Goal 3: To educate and support residents on the dangers of commercial tobacco products – particularly e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco and provide connections to cessation services.
Activities: Outreach to Native youth and their parents in the targeting communities, delivering culturally appropriate tobacco awareness/prevention/cessation workshops during or after school.; At least 150 youth will participate in 1 Tobacco Free Project presentation/workshop.; Collect PRE and POST surveys at each Tobacco Free Project workshop from participants.; Collect youth participants poster entries – Grades 5-6, 7-8, 9-10, and 11-12.; Participating youth will create a 30-second Public Service Announcement (PSA) using digital video recording equipment.; Participating youth will create a 3-5 minute video on a promotional/prevention video highlighting the strong Navajo ties to Natural Mountain Smoke and the dangers of commercial tobacco.
Tobacco vs. Commercial Tobacco
Traditional Tobacco is considered sacred of many Native tribes and is seen as a gift from the Creator. It is strictly for spiritual, cultural, and ceremonial use. It is natural, organic, and can be harvested and processed at your own home. When Native tribes use their traditional tobacco, this ensures the continuance of tobacco is grown or traded for spiritual and/or medicinal use.
Commercial Tobacco is manufactured and sold for profit for recreational and habitual use. Misuse of commercial tobacco can cause addition, death and disease due to the 4,000 harmful chemicals they add into it. Commercial tobacco can come in the form of cigarettes, e-cigarettes, pipe tobacco, rol-your-own, cigars, bidis, chewing tobacco, snuff, snus, etc. The brands include – Camel, Marlboro, Natural American Spirits, TOP, Redman, and many more.
There are no adverse health effects associated with sacred or ceremonial use of traditional plants.
For more information, contact:
416 W. Broadway
Farmington, NM 87401
(505) 326-4245, ext. 117
E-mail: Jody Mike-Bidtah