Native Communities vs. Big Tobacco: How an Industry Commercializes, Exploits, and Misrepresents Traditional Practices for Profits

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Traditional tobacco has been used by American Indians and Alaska Natives for centuries for cultural and spiritual purposes.  In yet another display of the tobacco industry’s predatory practices, the concept of traditional tobacco – a sacred symbol of peace and healing – was appropriated and commercialized for the industry’s financial gain.  Big tobacco has even funded cultural events and promoted cigarette brands like Natural American Spirit that use images of traditional American-Indian warriors.  Now, American Indian and Alaska Native communities have the highest prevalence of commercial tobacco use compared to any other population group in the United States.

In this installment of Campaign for the Culture conversation series, a panel of community leaders, health experts and tobacco control advocates will explore the difference between traditional and commercial tobacco and celebrate the leadership of Indigenous communities working to take down Big Tobacco.




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