DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Rates of tobacco use among Native American youth and adults are substantially higher than any other subgroup. In addition, the role of tobacco in Native American communities is complex due to its traditional and spiritual use, and the economic boon from smoke shops to many communities. For decades, the tobacco industry has used Native American imagery in the packaging and marketing of commercial tobacco. This unique set of circumstances renders research to expose the strategies used by the tobacco industry to influence Native American communities imperative. The overall goal of this project is to gain an understanding of tobacco industry tactics related to the targeting and marketing of commercial tobacco to Native American communities, so that more effective techniques for the prevention and control of tobacco abuse may be developed. Through a systematic review and analysis of tobacco industry documents, the specific aims of this project are to: 1) Identify and describe the use of Native American cultural elements and images by the tobacco industry to promote commercial tobacco use among both Native Americans and non-Natives; 2) Describe tobacco industry strategies designed to target and market to Native American communities; 3) Explore tobacco lobby efforts to influence Native Americans and tribal governments throughout the United States with respect to tobacco excise taxes, clean indoor air legislation, youth access enforcement efforts, tobacco lobby related tort and product liability reform efforts, anti-tobacco education efforts, tobacco sampling, promotion, and advertising restrictions, tobacco sales restrictions including in vending machines, and tobacco ingredient regulation; 4) Explore how the tobacco industry strategies identified in aims 1 through 3 are perceived and received by Native Americans; 5) Disseminate the documents and findings via a website, presentations and publications; 6) Make specific recommendations concerning intervention programs for tobacco abuse in Native American communities, using the results of this research and guidance by a national Advisory Council. Research methodology will include qualitative methods such as content analysis, opinion leader surveys and focus group interviews. The results of this research will assist tribal, community and state agencies in their efforts to develop culturally appropriate counter-marketing strategies and tobacco abuse prevention and control interventions.
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