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Costs of Smoking and Secondhand Smoke Exposure in California American Indian Communities

October 1, 2010

Research Report

Authors: Delight E. Satter, MPH, Dylan H. Roby, PhD, Lauren M. Smith, Steven P. Wallace, PhD

This report examines both the health and economic costs of commercial tobacco use and secondhand smoke inhalation in the American Indian and Alaska Native communities in California. The authors estimate the cost of smoking — in health care and lost productivity — totals nearly 800 million dollars a year. It provides detailed breakdowns of productivity losses, as well as costs per individual and by specific health condition, of commercial tobacco use. The authors also describe complicating factors, such as confusion over the role of traditional tobacco use or “sacred smoking,” and offers practical guidance and resources to tribes and American Indian communities seeking to implement tobacco-control and prevention activities in culturally-appropriate ways.

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