Health | National

Alaska Native man hopes antismoking message reaches youth






CDC: Michael's Ad: COPD and Smoking

An Alaska Native man is sharing his antismoking story in hopes of keeping youth away from tobacco.

Michael George Patterson, 59, started smoking when he was 9 years old. He now suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and had to have portions of both of his lungs removed because they were scarred.

Patterson, who is Tlingit and also has Cherokee ancestry, will likely need a lung transplant. Speaking loudly is nearly impossible for him.


Michael George Patterson. Photo from Facebook

“I just want to help you avoid standing where I stand,” Patterson told students at Yaakoosge Daakahidi Alternative High School, The New York Times reported.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention features Paterson and other Native Americans in a media campaign targeted at Native communities, where rates of smoking are the highest in the nation.

Get the Story:
Antismoking Story That Is Tailored to Native Alaskans (The New York Times 12/2)

Related Stories:
Anti-smoking ads include American Indians, Alaska Natives (3/29)