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Calls to Smoking Quitline increase

December 23, 2018

SAULT STE. MARIE – In 2018 calls to the American Indian Commercial Tobacco Program (1-855-372-0037) significantly increased after the release of four digital stories and public service announcements produced by the Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan.


According to the Intake Demographic Report produced by the Michigan Tobacco Quitline and National Jewish Health, from October 2017 through June 2018, there were a total of 152 American Indian and Alaska Native callers, a 250 percent increase.


In early 2018, four Native Americans residing in Michigan have volunteered to share their success stories about giving up smoking cigarettes to lead a healthier lifestyle. 

Valorie Glazier of Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians, Kimberly Leapley and Jacques LeBlanc both of the Bay Mills Indian Community, and Christopher Polasky of the Sitka Tribe of Alaska working with the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians each graciously opened up their stories about quitting commercial tobacco.

The call to action for these stories is to urge their Native American peers to never give up quitting smoking.  The focus is to call the American Indian Commercial Tobacco Program at 1-855-372-0037.  Native Americans in Michigan who call the AICTP can receive culturally tailored help and may receive free nicotine replacement therapy including gum and lozenges through May 31.


“40 percent of Native American adults in Michigan smoke cigarettes,” said Cathy Edgerly, program manager at Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan. “Quitting smoking can be difficult, but help is available.  More than 30 percent of callers to the AICTP stay quit after six months.  We hope these digital stories remind all that they should never give up their attempts to quit smoking.”


“Digital stories have been widely used to share the personal story of patients and individuals through public health,” said Mike Willette, communication specialist, Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan. “Typically, digital stories are shared on the internet and at presentations to showcase successes with a personal touch.  We are taking this idea and moving it to the next level with shortened 30 second PSAs to air on television and internet to support each three-minute digital story.  We will be spreading the wealth of these wonderful stories throughout the year, focusing on one story per season.  We have made all four videos available to view at  We would like to thank Valorie, Kimberly, Jacques, and Christopher for taking us into their personal lives to tell their story and encourage their peers to give up commercial tobacco.”


Funding for the project was provided by the National Native Network, Michigan Tobacco Program, REACH Journey to Wellness, and the Three Fires Cancer Consortium programs. For more information, call 1-855-372-0037 or learn more at .

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