The Conflict of Tobacco Education Among American Indians: Traditional Practice or Health Risk?

  • Diana Flannery
  • Caleen Sisk-Franco
  • Penny N. Glover


Tobacco has always been and continues to be an integral part of Native American religions. Tobacco provides Indian people a connection between their own culture and the spirit world. The practice of using tobacco is very honorable in religious beliefs of a tribe and has been associated with peace and healing among American Indians (AIs) for generations. Tobacco is used as an offering, as a medicine, for prayer, or a sacrament. Tobacco use during prayer or ceremony may be smoked (inhaled or not inhaled), used in a pipe or in the form of a cigarette, placed in the fire, placed on a drum, given as a gift, or used to contact the spirit world.1


Religious Belief Smokeless Tobacco Indian Community Indian People Spirit World 
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    Murillo, L (1993). Traditional information about tobacco. California Rural Indian Health Board, Sacramento, CA. Publication No. 90–91 (4–6).Google Scholar
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    Healthy People 2000. (1990). National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives. DHHS - PHS 1991 287,21331.Google Scholar
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    Blondin, B. (1990). Traditional use of tobacco among the Dene. Artic Medical Research49(Suppl. 2), 51–53.Google Scholar
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    Hodge, F. (1993). Tobacco control leadership in the American Indian community. Presented at the 121st Meeting of the American Public Health Association, San Francisco, CA.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diana Flannery
    • 1
  • Caleen Sisk-Franco
    • 2
  • Penny N. Glover
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Health and Community ServicesCalifornia State UniversityChicoUSA
  2. 2.American Indian Outreach AdvisorCalifornia State UniversityChicoUSA
  3. 3.Tobacco Research CenterWest Virginia University Mary Babb Cancer CenterMorgantownUSA

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