A lot of people would think smoking isn’t a natural thing. But for Gina Boudreau, a member of Minnesota’s White Earth Nation, tobacco is sacred. The plant helps her family tell their tribe’s creation story, and she believes it’s a vital part of preserving the land that they call home. But over the years, she’s seen customs related to growing and respecting tobacco erode. Today, her community is exposed mainly to commercial cigarettes and smoking-related health issues like heart disease, the leading cause of death for American Indian and Alaska Native adults.Read more :https://nativecigarettes.com/
In an effort to reduce the impact of commercial tobacco in their communities, many tribal members are attempting to bring back those traditional practices. They’re also trying to raise awareness of the difference between traditional and commercial tobacco, and are pushing for changes in federal policies like raising the age to purchase cigarettes from 21 to 29.
Discovering the Legacy: Exploring the History of Native Cigarettes
Despite the differences between traditional and commercial tobacco, both are harmful to health. Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable deaths in American Indian and Alaska Native populations, and it contributes to higher rates of heart disease and cancer than other racial/ethnic groups.
But a new study suggests that culturally appropriate tobacco messaging may help reduce the impact of commercial tobacco in Indigenous communities. Researchers at the University of Minnesota found that people in these communities responded more positively to messages that encouraged them to “keep tobacco sacred,” than to generic or health-focused communication.