Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Program in Indian Country

According to a 2019 New Mexico Department of Health report, about 31,000 indigenous adults and 4,600 youth in New Mexico smoke cigarettes. The Tobacco Use Prevention and Control (TUPAC) Program provides services and activities to schools, organizations, and communities to reduce non-ceremonial use of tobacco.

TUPAC activities include:

  • Cessation services
  • Community programs
  • Outreach and education
  • Initiatives addressing health disparities
  • Interactive trainings
  • School tobacco policies

TUPAC contracts with a consulting company to manage Smoke Free Signals, an education and technical assistance program that helps Tribal communities develop policies to prevent or reduce secondhand smoke. TUPAC also contracts with a behavior change marketing agency to support three youth advocacy groups, two of which are in rural communities.

TUPAC contracts with a wellness company to provide tobacco cessation services, including health professional training. The Health Systems Change Training and Outreach Program provides consultation, technical assistance, training, and outreach curriculum. TUPAC’s Program Director is working with the Tobacco Control Network as the Health Equity Engagement Officer and will expand on this specific reach both in New Mexico and nationally.


Through TUPAC, the percentage of people who made an attempt to quit using tobacco went from 47% of current users in 2014 to 54% in 2018. In the fiscal year 2020, 1,938 QUIT NOW and DEJELO YA quitline enrollees stopped using tobacco, and over 4,520 tobacco users made progress on their path to quitting (such as smoking fewer cigarettes each day).

With the support and technical assistance from TUPAC, 49 of the 50 Navajo Nation Chapters (local governments) in the state passed smoke-free Tribal Resolutions.

Population of Focus: Indigenous youth and adults


  • Learn more about the Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Program
  • Read the 2019 New Mexico Department of Health State-Tribal Collaboration Act report
  • Learn about the Nicotine Use Prevention and Control Program
  • Read the e-Guide, Keep Tobacco Use Sacred: A Guide for Tribal Communities
  • Read the paper, Promising Practices For Commercial Tobacco Prevention and Control in Indian Country

Date: 2021