Quitlines: Reducing Disparities and the Impact of Tobacco on American Indian, Alaska Native, and Asian Populations

60 Minutes

Cherrie Ng

Project Manager, Asian Smokers’ Quitline, University of California, San Diego

Cherrie Ng is the Project Manager of the CDC-funded, national Asian Smokers’ Quitline (ASQ). She is responsible for increasing awareness of, and publicizing information about, ASQ’s valuable multilingual counseling services. She also cultivates new partnerships with healthcare providers and community partners in the U.S., and shares information about ASQ services that may be of interest to these groups. In 2005, Cherrie joined the California Smokers’ Helpline as a Smoking Cessation Counselor, counseling clients in English, Mandarin and Cantonese. She has 10+ years of experience managing partner relations across non-profit organizations, health care professional groups, community based organizations, and corporations. She has specialized experience training partner organizations that serve pregnant women and smokers with young children.

Gary J. Tedeschi, PhD

Clinical Director, California Smokers’ Helpline, University of California, San Diego

Dr. Tedeschi is a licensed psychologist (#PSY 14241) at the University of California-San Diego School of Medicine, Moores Cancer Center. He has worked there since 1994 as the Clinical Director of the California Smokers' Helpline and the Center for Tobacco Cessation. At the Helpline he is responsible for clinical supervision, counseling protocol development, counselor training, and continuing education. At the Center he provides technical assistance and training for medical and behavioral health professionals on tobacco cessation interventions. Dr. Tedeschi holds a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from the University of Missouri, Kansas City; an M.A. in counseling psychology from Boston College; and a B.A. in psychology from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania.

Robert A. Vargas-Belcher, MSW, MPH

Director, Clinical Development and Support, Optum Healthcare

Robert Vargas-Belcher has 15+ years in the field of commercial tobacco treatment. Currently he is the Director of Clinical Development and Support for the Optum Quit for Life’s program that provide treatment support for 26 states Quitlines. He provides daily clinical support to staff and supports the development of new tailored programing in priority populations. Robert obtained his Masters in Social Work from University of Washington and his Masters in Public Health from San Diego State University.

Webinar Objectives

In recognition of National American Indian Heritage Month, SCLC is offering this important webinar. At the end of this webinar, you will be able to:


  • Explain the development of Optum’s American Indian/Alaska Native Commercial Tobacco Cessation Program

  • Describe the current utilization of Optum’s American Indian/Alaska Native Commercial Tobacco Cessation Program

  • Describe Asian Smokers’ Quitline (ASQ) services, identify ASQ clientele and use ASQ resources to refer smokers

  • Explain intervention strategies for ASQ clients

Instructions for CME/CE Credit

CME/CE credit is no longer available for this activity.

Certificates of Attendance

After watching the recorded version of the webinar, you can create and download your own certificate of attendance reflecting the one hour of participation on this webinar.


Additional Resources Cited in the Webinar