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National Jewish Health Launches Commercial Tobacco Program Customized for American Indians

Denver, CO —

National Jewish Health is launching a new program aimed at reducing commercial tobacco use among American Indians. Although adult American Indian commercial tobacco users express a strong interest in quitting, research shows they have lower quit rates and are among the least successful in maintaining long-term abstinence. The American Indian commercial tobacco program launches on August 1, 2015, and is serving American Indians in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wyoming.

National Jewish Health, the nation’s leading respiratory hospital, is the largest nonprofit provider of tobacco cessation services in the nation. Its QuitLogix tobacco cessation programs are now available to approximately 66 million people.

Research shows that American Indians are more likely to use commercial tobacco and have more difficulty quitting than those in other racial and ethnic groups. National Jewish Health has also observed that American Indian quitline callers have lower rates of engagement and utilization of quitline services than other callers to state quitlines.

"There is strong support both among National Jewish Health collaborators and in the literature about the need for better evidence-based protocols for this underserved population," said Amy Lukowski, PsyD, clinical director of Health Initiatives at National Jewish Health. "To date, effective tobacco cessation programs designed specifically for a heterogeneous population of American Indians do not exist."

The American Indian commercial tobacco program is a dedicated coaching program with Native coaches providing a culturally sensitive coaching protocol. Tobacco use is a cultural and spiritual staple in the American Indian community. Additionally, coaches will work to build increased rapport by reducing initial intake questions, increasing length of coaching calls and focusing intervention on the journey rather than a specific quit date. For the American Indian program, the goal is reduced use of commercial tobacco products rather than complete tobacco cessation. The American Indian tobacco cessation program will have a dedicated web-site and phone number, and culturally sensitive printed materials as well as a text and email program.

National Jewish Health opened its first quitline in collaboration with the state of Colorado in 2002, and has now served more than one million people interested in quitting the use of tobacco. The 15 states now served by National Jewish Health QuitLogix are Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wyoming.

QuitLogix is an evidence-based cessation program that includes telephonic counseling, an integrated website, email, text messaging and a mobile app. The intensive one-on-one program offers quit plans customized for each participant. Many of the state and other quitlines operated by National Jewish Health offer nicotine-replacement therapy as part of the program. Information and coaching are available in English and Spanish.

Only 3 to 5 percent of people trying to quit tobacco on their own are successful. Approximately 35 percent of people using the National Jewish Health QuitLogix program quit and remain tobacco free six months later.

Tobacco-users wanting to quit can call a national number, 1-800-QUIT-NOW, and will be directed to their individual state quitline.

National Jewish Health is the leading respiratory hospital in the nation. Founded 125 years ago as a nonprofit hospital, National Jewish Health today is the only facility in the world dedicated exclusively to groundbreaking medical research and treatment of children and adults with respiratory, cardiac, immune and related disorders. Patients and families come to National Jewish Health from around the world to receive cutting-edge, comprehensive, coordinated care. To learn more, visit the media resources page.

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