Mille Lacs Band encourages ceremonial tobacco over cigarettes

The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Indians in Minnesota is using a $230,000 grant to encourage members to use kinnikinnick, rather than commercial tobacco, in ceremonies.

Herbert Sam, a healer for the tribe, says commercial tobacco is destroying his people's health. He started using kinnikinnick, a traditional blend, after he was diagnosed with chronic lung disease.

"Whenever you go to some ceremonies, they pass out cigarettes," Sam told The Minneapolis Star Tribune. "You can see that really thick haze, and that's what you are breathing."

ClearWay Minnesota awarded the tribe the grant to encourage members to quit smoking cigarettes and to promote smoke-free policies on the reservation.

Get the Story:
An uphill battle to curb a culture of tobacco use (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 7/21)

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