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Iqmik: A Form of Smokeless Tobacco Used Among Alaska Natives

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Objectives: To describe a homemade form of smokeless tobacco known as Iqmik used among Alaska Natives residing in western Alaska. Methods: Individual and small-group interviews were conducted with 23 adult Alaska Natives. The major themes from the interview data were summarized. A chemical analysis was conducted of the alkalinity of a sample of fungus ash used to prepare Iqmik. Results: Few adverse health effects of using Iqmik were reported. The alkalinity of the sample of fungus ash was high (pH=10.9). Conclusion: The high alkalinity of Iqmik may contribute to the higher rates of tobacco use in this population.
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Keywords: Alaska Natives; Iqmik; smokeless tobacco; tobacco

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, Office of Alaska Native Health Research, Anchorage, AK. 2: Nicotine Research and Control Program, Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation, Bethel, AK. 3: Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. 4: Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

Publication date: 2005-11-01

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

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