MILITARY TRYING HARD TO REVERSE RANK TOBACCO HAS AMONG TROOPS
At the Tinker Air Force base in Oklahoma, Laura Crowder is known as “the Hawk Lady.”
She’s also known as “the Smoke Lady,” but not because she’s lighting cigarettes. Instead, Crowder is a health promotions manager at the base outside Oklahoma City, working to wean service members off tobacco in any form.
The numbers have improved since her arrival, she said, with tobacco use sliding from nearly 27 percent of the base population to a little under 18 percent.
Maybe that’s because “the Hawk Lady” knows where to go, even turning up to greet the night shift with her anti-tobacco efforts. She showed up at 8 p.m. to meet service members on duty. She showed up again at 3 a.m.
That got their attention.
“It was outside,” she said. “It was cold. It was dark.”
When she did it again, they were a little more ready to hear what she had to say.