American Indain Quit Line

American Indian Tobacco Prevention Programs:

Addressing the needs of American Indian Tribal Members on and off Montana's Reservations in regards to Commercial Tobacco Addiction.

The diseases caused by tobacco addiction remain the leading causes of death in the United States and for Montana American Indians. Tobacco use leads to   cardiovascular disease, several types of   cancer, and complicates serious health conditions such as   diabetesasthma,   mental illness and substance abuse.

Commercial tobacco use hits every area of Native communities. Along with following the goals of MTUPP and CDC Best Practices, the American Indian Tobacco Prevention Specialists also educate local community members and youth on the traditional intent and use of the tobacco plant, incorporate cultural activities, integrate native games, and educate on traditional knowledge. These activities help to break the bonds with commercial tobacco companies and pave the way to a life free from nicotine dependence.

To learn more about these topics, select the button to the left.

American Indian Traditional Tobacco

Knowing the difference between traditional tobacco and commercial tobacco and the "intent" of use, can help break the cycle of nicotine dependence and addiction.

American Indian Statistics

Find youth and adult national and state facts and information on tobacco use rates on the   MTUPP publication page.

American Indian Specific Resources

Find free materials that provide a tribal perspective to the burden of commercial tobacco in Native communities at the   MTUPP On-Line Store under QuitLine materials. Other American Indian tobacco prevention files, websites and media are listed below:

American Indian Commercial Tobacco Quit Line

The Montana Tobacco Quit Line offers a dedicated line connecting to Native coaches. A recent caller and long time smoker never thought she would be able to quit, but with the help of the American Indian Quit Line, where she found the coaches "pleasant to converse with and very informative", she is now two months smoke free. Read another   Montana Success Story  and start your quit today. Call 1-855-5AI-QUIT or link directly to the Montana American Indian Commercial Tobacco Quit Line at

Clean Air Policies

American Indian Tobacco Prevention Programs   offer assistance with developing smokefree policies for local businesses, events, colleges, K-12 schools, and multi-unit housing.

All tribes, except the Confederation of Salish Kootenai people, have a “Revenue Sharing Agreement” with the State of Montana, meaning that the price of a pack of cigarettes is the same on and off reservation. Cigarette packs are taxed at $1.70 and tax is 50% Over the Price (OTP) of all other tobacco products.

Revenue Sharing with the tribes began in the 1990’s. In 2011 Northern Cheyenne was the last tribe to negotiate the agreement. The Confederation of Salish Kootenai people is unable to go this route due to their own Governing by-laws; instead there is a Department of Revenue Quota System which minimizes the quantity of tobacco products sold on location.

Revenue Sharing allows store owners to tax all tobacco products and not distinguish between tribal and non-tribal sales.  The state collects the tax from all products. The state and tribe have agreed on a formula for sales to members living on their own reservation. The state then reimburses the tribes for this dollar amount of taxes being collected from tribal members.

This is done because a state cannot tax a tribal member who is an enrolled member, living on their reservation. For example, income earned by a tribal member working and living on their reservation cannot be taxed. However, a tribal member working and living off their Reservation can be taxed. Each tribe then has jurisdiction over the returned funds collected from members paying tobacco taxes. It is up to the tribe to use monies according to their own governing practices and policies.

In the case of the Confederation of Salish Kootenai people, the state uses a similar formula to estimate how many cigarettes will be on the reservation.  The Confederated Salish Kootenai Government designated six tobacco retailers on the reservation and the Quota of un-taxed cigarettes for each store.  Owners of stores are to card for each sale of un-taxed products to their members. Each store has a specific amount of cigarettes to sell without taxes throughout the year. All other tobacco retail stores on the Reservation sell tobacco products with the state tax included.

Not all tribes may use tobacco in the same way but in general it is used for ceremony, prayers and healing.  Some tribal nations may be more open to how they use tobacco for ceremonial purposes and other tribal nations may have cultural protocols regarding tobacco use that aren’t shared with the general public.

"A basic understanding from which we can start our dialogue is that tobacco can both give life and take life. It is a very powerful, potent, and magical being whose physical properties can cause great harm when abused. The flip side is that tobacco can also provide great healing when not abused. Of all the contributions American Indians have given the world, tobacco is probably the best known. However, when most people think of tobacco today, they don’t consider the depths of its story, or the unique role this powerful plant has had throughout history. Depending on intent of use, a great many American Indian people have become habituated to the nicotine contained in this plant. This should be of great concern to us all, because we are connected to each other; what affects one, affects us all."
(Tharon P. Weigell Sr. (Chumash))

Huran Indian myth has it that in ancient times, when the land was barren and the people were starving, the Great Spirit sent forth a woman to save humanity. As she travelled over the world, everywhere her right hand touched the soil, there grew potatoes. And everywhere her left hand touched the soil, there grew corn. And when the world was rich and fertile, she sat down and rested. When she arose, there grew tobacco...

  • Teach American Indian children about how commercial tobacco manufacturers exploit American Indian tradition and images.
  • Keep your home commercial tobacco-free.
  • Learn the harms of commercial tobacco, including electronic nicotine devices, on your health.
  • Support smokefree businesses.
  • Encourage your tribal council to pass a resolution to make your reservation free from commercial tobacco.
  • Help American Indian youth learn their culture and and the role of traditional or sacred tobacco.
  • Encourage high prices for commercial tobacco products. Raising commercial tobacco taxes stop kids from using commercial tobacco and help people who are addicted to quit.
  • If you or a loved one smokes or uses smokeless tobacco, call the dedicated American Indian Commercial Tobacco Quit Line (855) 5AI-QUIT or visit
  • Contact your local tribal commercial tobacco use prevention specialist for more information.

Contact Us

The terms Native American and American Indian are used interchangeably.  We use the term American Indian because it is consistent with the OMB race categories.  A 1995 Census Bureau Survey of preferences for racial and ethnic terminology (there is no more recent survey) indicated that 49% of native people preferred being called American Indian, 37% preferred Native American, 3.6% preferred "some other term," and 5% had no preference.  While the issue is not divisive, American Indians generally prefer to be identified as members of their specific tribe.