High tobacco use prevalence with significant regional and sex differences in smokeless tobacco use among western alaska native people: The WATCH study

Kathryn R. Koller, Christie A. Flanagan, Gretchen E. Day, Christi Patten, Jason G. Umans, Melissa A. Austin, Scarlett E. Hopkins, Cheryl Raindl, Bert Boyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Tobacco use prevalence among Alaska Native (AN) people living in Alaska is greater than the general population prevalence statewide and nationally. Better understanding of regional tobacco use is needed to improve cessation efforts and reduce prevalence. Using self-reported baseline data from the Western Alaska Tribal Collaborative for Health study, we describe tobacco use patterns among AN people in two western Alaska regions. Data were stratified by age group and sex. Dual- and multi-product use in the Yukon-Kuskokwim (Y-K) region was stratified by concurrent vs sequential use. Overall, 87% of the cohort reported having used tobacco. In Norton Sound, cigarette (98%) was the predominant tobacco type. In Y-K 71% smoked, 76% used smokeless tobacco (ST), with 47% reporting use of both products. ST use in Y-K consisted of commercial ST and homemade iqmik. Y-K women reported more ST product use, while men reported more cigarette use. Among dual- and multi-product users, the majority reported concurrent use, with no significant differences between men and women. Distinct regional differences include high smoking prevalence in Norton Sound and frequent use of smoking and ST products in Y-K. Findings support modification of cessation programmes to address regional variations in tobacco use patterns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1398009
JournalInternational journal of circumpolar health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes



  • Alaska Native
  • Cigarettes
  • Smokeless tobacco
  • Tobacco use patterns

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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