Osage Nation Campus Goes Smoke Free
September 01, 2008

From the Office of the Principal Chief


    Osage Nation employees at the tribe’s main campus will no longer have to worry about the harmful side effects of second hand smoke. As of Sept. 1, the tribe’s main campus will go smoke free due to the passing of landmark legislation aimed at bettering the health and wellness of the tribe’s employees.     

    “The smoke free policy has been a long time in the making and it shows that the Osage Nation is concerned about the lives and well being of its employees and that this is just the beginning for good things to come,” said John D. Red Eagle, Assistant Chief of the Osage Nation. “Through hard work from the Osage Nation Health and Wellness Board, the Osage Nation Tobacco Prevention Program and our Osage Nation Congress, together we have achieved something that will make a beneficial impact to all.”

     The ON Health and Wellness Board, Red Eagle, Office of the Chief’s and the Tobacco Prevention Program are in the process of creating a comprehensive tobacco policy that will go into effect Sept. 1. 

    The smoke free policy only affects the tribe’s main campus and not the tribe’s casino franchises. The use of tobacco for traditional ceremonial purposes will be allowed on the main campus by authorization of ON Spiritual Leaders.

     This policy was the result of the recommendation for the implementation of the Osage Nation Tobacco Free Policy as introduced in Congress as Resolution Number ONCR 08-04 and signed on April 17, 2008.

     Red Eagle has long worked toward providing solutions to health issues and has supported the education activities of the Tobacco Prevention Program for the last four years. The health benefits of being tobacco free are felt in all areas of health concern. The ON Tobacco Prevention holds health education workshops to help everyone understand the correlation between tobacco use and asthma, diabetes, upper respiratory infections and other health issues they face.

     “The Osage Nation cares about its employees and our Nation’s citizens. If we don’t do something now to help people live a healthy lifestyle, to aid in prevention and to give people the necessary tools in life to combat these diseases that take so many of our citizen’s lives, then we aren’t doing our jobs as elected officials for the Osage Nation,” Red Eagle said.

     The Osage Nation’s Tobacco Prevention Program is offering a six-week smoking cessation class every Monday and Tuesday from noon to 1 p.m., beginning Monday, July 14. Classes are held at the Osage Nation Head Start building and are free to the public. The one hour classes will include information on Nicotine Replacement Therapy, stress reduction training, methods to quit smoking, benefits of quitting smoking, social support and relapse prevention. 

     “Those who wish to quit will get the support and guidance they need in this six-week program,” said Kacee Poteet, smoking cessation specialist with the ON Tobacco Prevention Program. “Participants of the cessation program will gain the knowledge and skills needed to successfully quit smoking and stay smoke free for life.” 

      For more information contact the ON Tobacco Prevention Program at (918) 287-5422 or visit the Osage Nation Web site at www.osagetribe.com and click on Tobacco Prevention Program.