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Honoring Traditions and Embracing Quit Resources in New Brunswick

As we observe World No Tobacco Day (May 31), it’s essential to recognize both the cultural significance of traditional tobacco use among Indigenous communities and the ongoing efforts to support individuals in quitting smoking across New Brunswick.

Honoring Traditional Uses of Tobacco

Traditional tobacco has deep roots in Indigenous cultures, serving ceremonial, spiritual, and medicinal purposes for generations. Among Indigenous communities in New Brunswick, the practice of traditional tobacco use continues to hold immense cultural significance. It’s essential to differentiate between traditional and non-traditional tobacco use, respecting the sacred nature of the former while addressing the health risks associated with the latter.

Traditional tobacco is often used in sacred ceremonies, as an offering to the Creator, or as a means of prayer and communication with the spirit world. Its preparation and use are guided by specific cultural protocols and teachings, highlighting its role as more than just a substance but as a conduit for connection and healing.

Check out the video below and find more resources from our friends at the First Nations Health Authority.

Understanding the Difference

While traditional tobacco holds a revered place in Indigenous cultures, non-traditional tobacco products, such as cigarettes and vaping devices, pose significant health risks. These modern forms of tobacco use have been linked to various health problems, including lung cancer, heart disease, and respiratory issues. It’s crucial to raise awareness about the distinction between traditional and non-traditional tobacco use, promoting respect for cultural practices while advocating for improved public health outcomes.

Embracing Quitting Resources

For those looking to quit smoking or vaping, support and resources are available across New Brunswick. From counseling services to nicotine replacement therapies, individuals have access to a range of tools to help them on their quitting journey. 

Take the First Step

On this World No Tobacco Day, let’s celebrate the rich cultural heritage of traditional tobacco use while reaffirming our commitment to promoting health and wellness for all. Whether you’re exploring the cultural significance of traditional tobacco or considering quitting smoking, know that support is within reach. By working together and embracing both our traditions and our collective health goals, we can create a healthier, smoke-free future for generations to come.

The best way to Quit is the way that works for you:

-Quash is a FREE all-in-one quit smoking / vaping app that helps you build a personalized quit-plan, prepare for withdrawal and setbacks, badges and rewards, and reminders to treat yourself after quit-milestones. Download the Quash app on Android or Apple.

-The New Brunswick Anti Tobacco Coalition and GNB offer quit-smoking / vaping resources on the Smoke Free NB website. The site offers live chat support, a quit-line (1-866-366-3667), Text support (text “SMOKEFREENB to 123456), cost calculators, and e-mail advice and support.

-Looking to curb your cannabis use? Check out NB Lung’s Cannabis Harm Reduction resources. Developed in partnership with the New Brunswick Medical Society, these resources are designed for healthcare providers, but they provide a path to less harmful ways of using cannabis than smoking. Smoking cannabis is the most harmful way to use it.

Live Well | Bien Vivre offers FREE health coaching to all New Brunswickers over 18, anywhere in the province. While smoking cessation isn’t their main focus, individual wellness-coaches can help guide you towards a healthier, smoke-free life.