Advertise:   712.224.5420

Alaska Natives combat tobacco use among young, old

The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation, a health corporation run by 58 tribes, is working to reduce tobacco use among young and old Alaska Natives.

Studies show that Alaska Natives smoke and use tobacco products at rates far higher than any other group. Among adults, 42 percent smoke. Among youth, 43 percent said they smoked and 38 percent said they chewed tobacco.

Tobacco use starts young in some communities. A mixture of tobacco and ash known as iqmik is given to children as young as 4 years old. Some women, thinking it is less harmful, switch from smoking to iqmik during pregnancy.

To combat the problem, Y-KHC is trying to educate more Natives about the dangers of tobacco. The corporation has started programs at clinics to help people quit.

Get the Story:
Yukon-Kuskokwim health workers win battles in war against tobacco (The Anchorage Daily News 6/27)
Statewide tobacco study finds fewer youths smoke (The Anchorage Daily News 6/28)
Statistics hinge on which definition of 'smoker' is used (The Anchorage Daily News 6/28)

Related Stories:
CDC: Smoking rates highest among Native Americans (02/02)
Survey finds high-risk behaviors among BIA students (11/13)
Smoking rates among Natives highest in nation (10/10)
Study links childhood experience to alcohol abuse (09/19)
Indian Country tops drug report again (9/17)
Native youth top drug use survey again (09/06)
Native youth targeted in anti-drug ads (5/17)
Native youth heaviest smokers in nation (4/3)
Report: Native youth highest drug users (10/5)
Tribal tobacco challenges dismissed (9/5)
CDC: Indian mothers heaviest smokers (8/29)
Tribal challenge to big tobacco dismissed (7/17)
Report: Native women heaviest smokers (3/28)
Smoking in Indian Country (3/28)
Ad campaign targets youth drug use (9/7)
Drug use high among Native youth (9/1)