Artwork chosen for Indian anti-smoking contest
Over 200 people submitted entries to the Black Hills Center for American Indian Health's “The Oniyan Wakan” (“Sacred Breath”) anti-smoking art contest.

The winner was 25-year-old Stephen Yellowhawk. His beadwork, called "Choices," depicted two Indian men playing a drum -- one a healthy traditional man and another an overweight smoker.

Yellowhawk said he hopes the image will encourage young people to stay away from cigarettes. "We have accepted cigarette smoking as part of our culture, but that’s not the type of tobacco we used. We didn’t sit around all day smoking cigarettes,” he told The Rapid City Journal.

Dr. Patricia Nez Henderson, the vice president of the Black Hills Center, said commercial tobacco differs greatly from traditional tobacco. Commercial products contain cancer-causing substances that affect smokers and non-smokers, she said.

“It’s an epidemic health crisis with a long-term impact on health delivery systems,” Henderson told the paper. “Smoking’s impact … is huge."

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Tobacco culture not native (The Rapid City Journal 3/18)