Introduction: We examined the characteristics, attitudes, beliefs, and exposure to tobacco products in a cohort of rural dwelling Alaska Native (AN) people. Methods: We conducted a study of 400 of AN adult tobacco users and nonusers living in Southwestern Alaska. Questionnaires covered variables such as demographics, tobacco-use history, current tobacco use and dependence scales, general health status, attitudes and beliefs about tobacco, and quitting history. Results: The study population smoked 7.8 cigarettes per day compared with 16.8 on average for the U.S. population: a significant proportion of the population engaged in dual use of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products. Over one third (40.9%), first tried tobacco at age 11 or younger. The mean measures of tobacco addiction (e.g., Fagerstrom Test for Nicotine Dependence, Severson Scale of Smokeless Tobacco Dependence) scores were lower compared with other U.S. populations. Conclusions: Very high tobacco-use prevalence, dual product use, and early tobacco use are observed in Southwestern AN people. Unexpectedly these did not appear to be correlated with heavier individual tobacco use or higher levels of addiction in this population.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health