The Cherokee Nation is helping city and school officials in Pryor, Oklahoma launch a 24/7 Tobacco Free campaign to prevent students and residents from smoking or dipping, states a tribal press release. The campaign coincides with this year’s National Public Health Week theme, “A Healthier America Begins Today: Join the Movement.”
The week was created to highlight issues that are important to improving individual communities, such as ending tobacco use.
“It takes communities working together to ensure the next generation will enjoy a healthy life, and Pryor is an example of what it takes to truly make a difference in the health of our families and our communities,” said Cherokee Nation Healthy Nation Director Lisa Pivec in a statement.
According to Pryor’s health and wellness director, Laura Holloway, smoking and dipping were issues in Pryor schools that needed to be addressed. “Like other schools in the state, dipping is really a big area of concern because of the sporting aspect,” said Holloway. “Tobacco education has been the key in teaching kids about the health effects of tobacco.”
Cherokee Nation Healthy Nation helped Pryor develop a policy that took the schools and the city to a tobacco free environment 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The tribe also provided signs, money and technical training to help facilitate the project.
“We have partnered with Cherokee Nation on several projects and they have been great to work with,” said Holloway. “Both Pryor Schools and Healthy Nation really work hard to better the overall health of the community and going tobacco free has just been one of the many successes.”
Cherokee Nation Healthy Nation provides outreach services to schools and communities, including wellness activities, health fairs, smoking and tobacco cessation classes, the Cherokee Challenge, WINGS running club, community recreation centers, summer youth fitness camps and other culturally appropriate education activities.