A young Lakota athlete tells us how much stronger and more powerful he and his team members are when they avoid commercial tobacco use. And how important it is for his people to work together to win the fight against Big Tobacco addiction.
[Lakotan young adult:] When I’m playing basketball, I need all the strength I can get. I also need my team members to be strong—because winning takes a lot of teamwork.
Sometimes I feel like a warrior from the old days, fighting for the good of my family and my tribe. We’re all in it together. And none of us would even think about helping the other side win.
It’s the same with cigarettes and spit tobacco. They are our enemy. They make us sick and weak. They even make us betray each other by sharing our tobacco addictions and deadly secondhand smoke.
We’ve got to beat the team of chunglee and chew. But right now, over half of us smoke or chew. That means they’re winning, not us.
So here’s what we’ve got to do: any of us who smoke or chew gotta quit. And nobody should ever, ever help a kid get started.
Together, we can beat the big tobacco team. But just like with any tough game, it’s gonna take a lot of teamwork.