260277 Behind the Smokescreen: Addressing Native American Tobacco Use in Oklahoma

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 2:30 PM - 2:50 PM

Ami Stearns, MA , Department of Sociology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK
Andrew Spivak, PhD , Sociology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV
Michael Givel, PhD , Department of Political Science, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK
Do Native Americans in Oklahoma hold significantly different attitudes toward the health dangers of tobacco than non-Natives? Across 38 tribes, Oklahoma Native Americans comprise the second highest Native American state population, and 12.4 percent of the total U.S. Native American population. Oklahoma agencies have developed an anti-tobacco health education campaign focusing on ceremonial tobacco use while also encouraging tribal members to quit tobacco. Using data from the Adult Tobacco Survey (2004-2008), we tested differences between Native Americans and non-Native Americans regarding tobacco-related disease including secondhand smoke, harm to a fetus by a smoking mother, and risk of addiction. Because Native American females are the only group failing to decrease smoking rates since 1978, we also analyzed women separately. Results based on Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) and binary logistic regression analyses reveal that Native Americans did not differ significantly from non-Native Americans in agreement with statements that smoking cigarettes or being exposed to secondhand smoke contribute to major diseases. However, Native Americans are less likely than non-Native Americans to believe that cigarettes are addictive, smoking is harmful to a fetus, and secondhand smoke is harmful. These findings have policy implications for the future design of Oklahoma anti-tobacco campaigns targeted to Native Americans. Where current campaigns focus on the historical relationship tobacco has with Native American culture and ceremonies, more attention should be devoted to issues of cigarette addiction including tobacco industry targeting of non-smokers, smoking while pregnant, and general harm of breathing secondhand smoke.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related education
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the rationale for anti-tobacco campaigns directed at the Oklahoma Native American community. 2. Describe differences regarding beliefs about tobacco and secondhand smoke between Oklahoma Native Americans and non-Natives.

Keywords: Tobacco, Native Americans

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the primary author on this article. I have been writing about tobacco in Oklahoma along with my co-authors for the past two years. I have my MA and am a PhD student at the University of Oklahoma, Department of Sociology. I am an Graduate Instructor and have classroom and presentation experience. My specific field of interest is women and gender studies.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.