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Ai Policy Brief

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Submitted By emilyig
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Policy Brief: A Need for Future American Indian Commercial Tobacco
Prevention and Cessation Programs
May 24, 2012
Smoking and the American Indian community
Every year, more than 440,000 deaths occur from cigarette smoking, or 1 of every 5 deaths is due to a smoking in the United States1. In adults who have never smoked, secondhand smoke can cause heart disease and/or lung cancer. Smoking rates are highest among the American Indian (AI) population when compared to other racial or ethnic groups which puts them at serious risk for disease and death2. Although California’s smoking rate is lowest among the general population, the disparity largely exists with AI smokers. It’s time to take action and develop prevention and cessation services to curb the high rates of smoking among the AI community.
Why are smoking rates so high in the American Indian community? 1. The Tobacco Industry markets to youth using cultural images and symbols so they become long-term smokers, which means more money for the Tobacco Industry. 2. Having family and friends who smoke is more likely to influence smoking for the youth. 3. Exposure to secondhand smoke. 4. Youth start smoking as young as age 10, increase likelihood of smoking in adulthood. 5. Limited prevention programs that are culturally specific to reduce initiation of smoking. 6. Limited cessation programs to reduce smoking rates. 7. Perceived low harm value/ lack of awareness about the harmful effects associated with tobacco use. 8. Cultural Influence. Do we want to mention the use of tobacco for sacred purposes leads to commercial tobacco abuse or something along those lines?
Future American Indian tobacco programs can provide a positive health impact. * Cigarette consumption would decrease 9 OR 104,500 LIVES SAVED FROM PREMATURE SMOKING-CAUSED DEATH 3 * Save more than...

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