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Tobacco Prevention

American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/AN) have the highest prevalence of cigarette smoking compared to all other racial/ethnic groups in the United States. As some American Indians use traditional tobacco for ceremonial, prayer, or medicinal purposes; it is important to understand the distinction between commercial tobacco and traditional tobacco use.

two people outdoors

What are the Health Effects of Commercial Tobacco Use?

What is Secondhand and Thirdhand Smoke?

  • Secondhand smoke is smoke that comes off of a lit cigarette, and comes out of the smoker’s mouth and nose.
  • Thirdhand smoke is smoke that stays in clothes, hair, walls, and furniture, and the skin of the smoker. It stays there even after the cigarette is put out.

Help Protect our Children from Secondhand and Thirdhand Smoke by:

  • Not allowing anyone to smoke tobacco anywhere in or near your home.
  • Not allowing anyone to smoke tobacco in your car, even with the windows down.
  • Making sure that your children’s day care centers and schools are free of tobacco smoke.

What are we Doing?

Commercial Tobacco Use Among the AI/AN Population

Cigarette Smoking Prevalence among Adults

Use among Pregnant Women

Cigarette Smoking Prevalence among American Indian/Alaska Native Adults by Region and Gender

Smokers by Region Male Female
Alaska 42.1% 36.8%
East 40.4% 36.3%
Northern Plains 42.1% 42.1%
Pacific Coast 33.5% 27.7%
Southern Plains 34.5% 31.6%
Southwest 18.8% 14.8%

Source: Cobb et al. American Journal of Public Health, April 22, 2014 Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving .

Provider Resources

Watch the step-by-step video on how to assess for and document e-cigarette and vape users Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving  on the health factor tab in the Electronic Health Record.

To find links to other resources and watch archive IHS presentations on Tobacco prevention, visit the Tobacco Prevention Resources for Providers page.

Media Campaign

To see the Tobacco Free media campaign posters and promotional cards on Tobacco prevention, visit the Tobacco Free Campaign page.

A public service announcement script [PDF - 85 KB] is available for you to use to promote Tobacco Free in your area.

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