59% of American Indians in Minnesota Smoke


Latest data shows that a lifestyle practice among American Indians in Minnesota caused a public health crisis which means they consume a lot of cigars, cigarettes, chewing tobacco, snuff, pipes.

In the Tribal Tobacco Use Project Survey started in 2009 and in it participated 3,000 American Indians aged 18 and older from 7 reservations in Minnesota and in urban Indian communities in Hennepin, Duluth and Ramsey counties.

There was found that 22% of American Indian adults have never been regular smokers in comparison with 57% of all adults in the state. 59% of American Indian adults are smokers compared to 16% of all Minnesota adults. The figure is different from several surveys made in past putting use in the 40% range.

62% of American Indians who smoke want to quit and 48% tried to quit smoking in the past year.  22% of American Indian adults have never been regular smokers, compared to 57% of all adults in the state.

In general, cigarette smoking is more than two times higher in every age group among American Indian adult people than Minnesota adults.  The prevalense of smoking-related diseases is higher among American Indians than the Minnesota population. For example, the diabetes rate are 3 times higher and the heart disease rate is 1.5 times higher.

Jean Forster, the chief of science part of the study, has a PhD and works for the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota said that there is no question as to this gap. It is great, it is a public health crisis.

The 59% usage rate is much higher than anything reported before, but she and others say that data obtained from the research reflect a different survey approach.

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