SCF’s Rigs Without Cigs designed for truckers to succeed

October 21, 2021

SJ Munoz

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With the Great American Smokeout right around the corner, St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund is doing its part once again with the Rigs without Cigs program, which is in its fourth year.

St. Christopher Fund is looking to build upon the success they have had to this point, and increased participation is a high priority.

“We would like to have a higher involvement from drivers and companies,” Julie Dillon, health and wellness manager for St. Christopher Fund, said. “We know it’s one of the best ways to prevent future health issues. The majority of the applications we receive for health related needs are from drivers who smoke. We know there is a direct correlation there. We want to do as much as possible on the front end to improve the drivers’ health.”

To register for the program, visit the St. Christopher Fund website. Once you are registered, you will receive a welcome letter that includes program details. Drivers can choose between cold turkey, nicotine replacement therapy and a tapering off method, which includes a mobile app.

Throughout the process, tips and tools to be successful as well as weekly encouragement and accountability from a health coach are provided. The driver also will select an accountability partner.

“It’s something that’s very near and dear to my heart. I lost my dad as a direct result of smoking,” Dillon said. “If I can have anyone not go through that, it’s all worth it. Our goal is to make everything accessible. The tools that we offer drivers can get on their own, but the weekly accountability is huge. Support and accountability comes from St. Christopher Fund as well as each other. When you’re going through something with someone in the same shoes, it makes a big difference.”

Incentives will be given at milestones including one month, three months, six months and one year of no tobacco use.

The program is open to all over-the-road semitruck drivers, but drivers must have an active CDL and be a resident of the United States. Friends, family and others within the trucking industry are encouraged to participate, although they are not required to track progress and are ineligible for prizes.

“We’re here as long as they need us,” Dillon said. “Believe it or not, there are a lot of drivers who don’t know about us. The more people we can reach the more people we can help. Many of the drivers who have quit smoking remain active in programs to help others who are trying to quit. We’re here strictly for the drivers. There’s no motive other than seeing them get better. We want to teach them how to have a different mindset while offering accountability and support.” LL

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SJ Munoz is the newest edition to the Land Line Media team. He brings a variety of skills to the job as he has experience as a reporter, photographer and in radio. He’s also written for Omaha Magazine, the Lawrence Journal-World, and PrepsKC.com.