Photo: The eastern wall of the Minneapolis American Indian Center. Photo by Jaime Martinez.
Smoke-Free Tribal Housing Policies
Our friends at the Public Health Law Center recently released an excellent resource intended as a guide for Tribal communities working on policies to restrict the smoking of commercial tobacco products in Tribal housing.
The guide includes several important considerations for advocates and policy makers including:
– The need to preserve sacred tobacco use
– The importance of obtaining Tribe-specific data
– The provision of culturally appropriate cessation materials
“Commercial tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death among AI/AN populations. The high rates of commercial tobacco use among certain AI/AN populations are directly related to the high rates of cardiovascular disease, lung cancer, and other cancers.11 High rates of other diseases such as stroke12 and diabetes13 among AI/AN populations are also associated with commercial tobacco use. There is no safe level of exposure to commercial tobacco smoke, and the damage from commercial tobacco smoke is immediate. Commercial tobacco abuse prevention and cessation are vital for AI/AN health and well-being. Smoke-free Tribal housing policies have the potential to increase these benefits. ““Smoke-Free Tribal Housing Policies” – Public Health Law Center