Tobacco use is the number one cause of lung cancer deaths in the United States. Cardiovascular disease is also closely linked to tobacco consumption. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), smoking is more prevalent among Native Americans than any other racial and ethnic group in the United States. Needless to say, it is a major source of pollution in indoor environments. Smokers, and those who live with them, breathe in carbon monoxide and other chemicals when smoking.
Tobacco consumption continues to be a prevalent issue in Native American communities. During IAQ Week, a representative from United Indian Health Services (UIHS) provided education and outreach to TBR residents on their smoking cessation program. Because addiction to cigarettes is a difficult habit to break, this presents an IAQ concern that does not have a simple solution. Decreasing tobacco use requires the resident’s continued effort and cooperation. The Wiyot Tribe’s Health and Human Services Department provides support and information for Tribal members trying to quit smoking. Although prevention efforts are widespread, continued work is necessary to bring awareness to the dangers of tobacco smoking.
Electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes, are becoming an emerging health concern. Contrary to popular belief, e-cigarettes are not an approved smoking cessation tool, although they have been marketed as such. These devices usually consist of a battery, a chamber to hold liquid, and a heating element. The liquid used to create aerosol contains nicotine, artificial flavoring, and other chemicals. Some of the chemicals known to be found in e-cigarette fluid are VOCs, such as formaldehyde. The FDA does not regulate e-cigarettes, therefore manufacturers are not required to provide information on what chemicals are used in their products, thus making it difficult to quantitatively assess their danger.
If you would like help to quit smoking, please refer to our Health and Human Services page.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA)
Tobacco Free California
US Department of Health and Human Services