Tobacco-Related Disparities: Native Americans/ Alaska Natives

More than 500 First Nation tribes use tobacco for ceremony, healing and giving thanks. Commercial tobacco serves an entirely different purpose of recreational and habitual use.

Due to generations of racism, poverty, and limited access to health care and quit tobacco programs experienced by Native American/Alaska Native communities, Native American/Alaska Native populations have the highest prevalence of cigarette smoking of all racial/ethnic groups in the United States.

These health disparities and high rates of cigarette/commercial tobacco use increase the risk of tobacco-related diseases in Native American/Alaska Native communities. Culturally tailored quit tobacco services are very important to meet the needs of members of Native American/Alaska Native populations to help increase commercial tobacco quits.

The MDHHS Tobacco Control Program is dedicated to working with national, state and community-based organizations to gather information on commercial tobacco use among Native American/Alaska Native populations and use that information to help make tobacco services better able to meet the diverse needs of these communities and improve health disparities. We invite others to join us in those efforts.

If you are interested in participating in future collaborative efforts to reduce commercial tobacco use among members of the Native American/Alaska Native communities within our state, please contact us at 517-335-8376.


The Michigan Tobacco Quitline (1-800-QUIT-NOW) can provide support for individuals who want to quit smoking.

For additional resources and webinars, please visit our MDHHS Tobacco Control Program Online Tobacco Resource Library page.

More data and reports related to commercial tobacco use and quitting rates can be found on our Data & Statistics About Tobacco in Michigan webpage.

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