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Indian Health Service The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives

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Division of Epidemiology and Disease Prevention
medicine wheel

Health Issues - Tobacco Use


  • Ensure access to and development of tobacco cessation and prevention services for American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN).
  • Ensure the sustainability of the plan from a resource and financial perspective.
  • Mobilize federal, Tribal, state, and non-government organizations to collaborate and fund focused tobacco cessation and prevention efforts for AI/AN.
  • Promote research to evaluate and identify culturally appropriate “best and promising” interventions to reduce tobacco-related morbidity and mortality in AI/AN populations.
  • Support and strengthen tobacco surveillance and data collection in the Indian Health Service, Tribal, and Urban (I/T/U) health care systems.


The mission of the Indian Health Service Tobacco Control/ Prevention Program in partnership with American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) people is to raise their physical, mental, social, and spiritual health to the highest level possible through prevention and reduction of tobacco-related disease.

About Us

American Indians and Alaska Native (AI/AN) adults have the highest rate of commercial tobacco use of any racial/ ethnic group in the United States. Many tribes consider tobacco a sacred gift and use it during religious ceremonies and as traditional medicine, the tobacco-related health problems they suffer are caused by chronic commercial tobacco use. As a response to this public health problem, an interagency agreement was initiated between the Indian Health Service (IHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to support the IHS Tobacco Program.