The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services will host a live fireside chat and tele-town hall on Thursday, November 2, from 6 to 7 p.m., to discuss how people can access support to help quit smoking, vaping or using tobacco, as well as other ways they can care for their health and manage stress.

Event participants include:

  • Vickie Fowler, M.D., Family Medicine Specialist, WakeMed
  • Stephanie Gans, LCAS, MSW, NCTTP, Tobacco Treatment Specialist, NCDHHS
  • LT Madeline Wright, PharmD, Clinical Pharmacist, Cherokee Indian Hospital Authority

Tobacco use is the number one preventable cause of death and disease in North Carolina. Smoking is a particularly major risk factor for lung cancer with 80% of all lung cancer caused by cigarette smoking. Additionally, people who smoke are at higher risk of severe illness from respiratory viruses, including flu and COVID-19.

Several populations across the state, including American Indian communities, face greater barriers to access care and support to quit commercial tobacco use. More than one in four American Indian adults in North Carolina smoke — a rate more than 1.5 times greater than for white, non-Hispanic adults. greater than for white, non-Hispanic adults.

Fireside chat and tele-town hall panelists will discuss the following:

  • Resources and support to help quit or limit use of commercial tobacco products
  • Ways to reduce stress and improve mental health
  • Information on treatments to help quit tobacco and how to access them
  • Importance of preventative screenings, including for lung cancer

Programs like QuitlineNC in North Carolina connect individuals with resources to help themselves or loved ones quit commercial tobacco use, not tobacco for sacred and traditional ceremonies used by many American Indian tribes and communities.

The fireside chat will stream live from the NCDHHS FacebookTwitter and YouTube accounts, where viewers can submit questions. The event also includes a tele-town hall, which invites people by phone to listen in and submit questions. People can also dial into the event by calling 855-756-7520 Ext. 95267#.