In partnership with NITHA, we are delivering a Tobacco Control Program to address tobacco control in PAGC communities. From March 2 to 5, 2015, a Federal Tobacco Control Strategy (FTCS) meeting was held in Winnipeg, Manitoba aimed to discuss the strategy and indicators for the duration of the funded project, which began in 2014 and ends in 2017. Guided by FTCS, PAGC is set on reducing the extremely high rates of tobacco misuse, protecting non-smokers from exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) and preventing youth from starting an addiction to nicotine. The six essential elements incorporated into tobacco control activities are protection, prevention, education, cessation, reducing access to tobacco products, and data collection and evaluation.

Four PAGC communities are serving as “pilot” communities, which will involve survey dissemination and collection. They include James Smith Cree Nation, Hatchet Lake Denesuline Nation, Little Red River Reserve and Wahpeton Dakota Nation.

Since the beginning of the project, research has been done in the areas of tobacco knowledge, cessation, behavioural changes and best practices. In addition, presentation material has been developed, collected, informally evaluated, and adapted to best suit target audiences. Collecting posters, pamphlets, videos, and additional resources for each community is in progress. Partners include the Saskatchewan Lung Association, Government of Saskatchewan, Canadian Cancer Society-Smoker`s Helpline, Cancer Care Ontario-Aboriginal Tobacco Program, and the Saskatchewan Prevention Institute.

Continuous communication and partnership is vital to addressing the nicotine addiction that pertains to a majority of the population in our communities. To meet common goals, we are working closely with the Northern Healthy Community Partnership (NHCP)’s Northern Tobacco Strategy (NTS) in developing resources and delivering its campaigns.