Nicotine use rates high among Alaska Native youth

Alaska Native youth in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta use nicotine at rates far higher than the rest of the nation, according to the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium..

Based on information collected in 2001 and 2002, 63 percent of 15- to 18-year-olds either smoked cigarettes, chewed tobacco or did both. That's higher than the national smoking rate of 28 percent among high school students and higher than the 19 percent reported among Alaska teens by the federal government.

"It is very disconcerting," Caroline Cremo Renner, a nicotine research and control manager for the tribal consortium, told The Anchorage Daily News.

Kids as young as 6 to 10 years old are using tobacco products. Many get exposed at an early age to iqmik, a traditional mix of cured tobacco leaves and ash from a woody fungus.

Get the Story:
Delta youths use nicotine at alarming rates (The Anchorage Daily News 2/19)

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