New Animated Video Highlights Respecting Traditional Tobacco, Quitting Commercial Tobacco



January is a great time to look forward to the year ahead and continue on your wellness journey. If you aren't on a wellness journey yet, it's never too late to start one.

This week is National Non-Smoking Week (Jan. 16-22) , an annual event held in the third week of January aimed at educating Canadians about the dangers associated with commercial tobacco and preventing people who do not smoke from starting.

This year, we are excited to launch an animated video that may help you consider quitting commercial tobacco and learning more about Respecting Tobacco.

Made in partnership with Indigenous Story Studio, with the guidance from Elders at Tsow-Tun-Le-Lum Society and youth from around BC, this video highlights important teachings around culture, sacred tobacco and wellness.


​We hope that the above video inspires and reminds us all of the power of culture and traditional teachings in supporting our path to wellness.

At the FNHA, we make a clear distinction between respecting the use of traditional tobacco and the consumption of commercial tobacco.

Traditional tobacco is a medicine to be treated with great respect. Is it used to connect with the land and our ancestors in ceremony and prayer, bringing many health benefits to the First Nations communities that use it.

Commercial tobacco, however, can do immense damage to your body. Reducing or eliminating your commercial tobacco use can significantly improve your health.

We know that the path is not always easy, but we urge you to connect with culture and ask for guidance and support.

As the Elders have taught us, let us put some sacred tobacco down on the earth or on the water and ask the Creator for help on our wellness journeys:

  • Be kind to yourself—this is not an easy journey.
  • Go for a walk in nature or on the land to distract yourself when you are craving commercial tobacco.
  • Do a traditional craft or activity. Keeping your hands and mind busy will reduce your need to reach for a smoke.
  • Drink a medicinal tea or a glass of water. Staying hydrated will help your overall health.

There are also many tools to support your quitting journey including nicotine replacement therapies and other prescription medications that are covered under the First Nations Health Benefits (see Quitting Commercial Tobacco FAQ).

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