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This report is designed to help health educators, program coordinators, and policy makers in tribal communities. If you are working on policy, environmental, and system change for any health topic, these stories may help you.

Our Tobacco Story

Between 2005 and 2015, five tribal communities in Michigan conducted a series of community based surveys called the American Indian Adult Tobacco Survey (AIATS).  Results of these surveys revealed striking health disparities related to commercial tobacco use, including:

  • In most communities, the average age of smoking initiation was between 13 and 15 years old.
  • Most people started smoking regularly by the time they turned 17.
  • Smoking rates among adults ranged from 34% to 72%.
  • Tribal members who smoked were more likely than non-smokers to have chronic health conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes.

This evidence reflects what some community members have referred to as an “epidemic” of commercial tobacco use.  Community members have used this evidence to strengthen their response to commercial tobacco use through formal programs, policies, and educational efforts.  While the mechanisms of the AIATS are well-documented, what’s missing from the literature are stories of how tribal communities have created lasting change using data.  This report tells the story of how Michigan tribal communities turned health data into sustainable action.

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Native American Heritage Month | LEARN MORE

Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) in Indian Country - Screening, Treatment Support & Live TA for RPMS and iCare Users | National Native Network Webinar | LEARN MORE AND REGISTER

Basic Tobacco Intervention Skills Certification for Native Communities | LEARN MORE AND REGISTER

Tribal Public Health Conference 2023 | Choctaw Casino & Resort, Durant, Oklahoma | LEARN MORE AND REGISTER