Native Cigarettes and the Health Effects of Smoking


On a hill overlooking the Mohawk reserve of Kahnawake near Cornwall, on the other side of the border in the US state of New York, a fenced compound contains one of 10 secretive, black-market tobacco factories that have become the lifeblood of the community. Their dirt-cheap cigarettes have reshaped the way many of its residents live, and they have drawn the attention of police, antismoking advocates and the mainstream tobacco industry. Read more :

For many of the people who work in these factories, the money they earn is more than they could get on welfare. It has helped them pay for housing and put food on their tables. It has even allowed them to buy cars and take vacations. But some of their community members resent the prosperity that these plants have brought and worry that the profits have been squandered by corruption.

Unraveling Myths: Debunking Misconceptions Surrounding Native Cigarettes

High rates of smoking among American Indian and Alaska Native adults have a profound impact on their health. They have the highest rates of cigarette use among all racial/ethnic groups, and smoking is a leading cause of death for this group.

Previous research has linked cigarette use among American Indians to poverty and low educational attainment. However that research typically doesn’t control for tribal affiliation or cultural context, which may explain why the higher smoking rates in these communities persist. A recent study by University of Minnesota researchers found that people in these communities respond more positively to messages about commercial tobacco prevention and cessation that incorporate cultural cues.

Leave a Comment