DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Overview: Can knowledge and practice of sacred ceremonial tobacco lifestyle teachings be used to prevent, reduce, or assist in cessation efforts of commercial/manufactured tobacco abuse among urban American Indians in Phoenix, Arizona. The key concept concerning tobacco views among American Indians is the "duality" of sacred view and the everyday uses that tobacco holds. The primary goal of this research project is to include the knowledge and practice of ceremonial tobacco in programs to reduce or prevent commercial tobacco use among urban American Indian populations in Arizona. Outside researchers have not been privy to American Indian tobacco belief systems which honors traditional tobacco as a sacred element and thus, is not to be abused. It is this protective view and prevention focused use of sacred/ceremonial tobacco that this project seeks to include in an urban-focused American Indian tobacco prevention, reduction, and cessation program. Our objectives are to expand our existing community involvement by: (1) strengthening our tobacco research projects involving urban American Indians, (2) enhancing the communities' perceptions concerning the research process itself and (3) increasing the communities' trust by jointly developing culturally appropriate approaches addressing urban American Indians located in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area. Native Vision Tobacco Coalition's Community Partnered Research project will use a non-experimental, descriptive, qualitative based field study. The PEN-3 model will serve as the framework to structure work efforts involving the communities themselves as full research partners in the process. Together, culturally appropriate guidelines and procedures will be developed to assist health educators in planning interventions specifically targeted to each community's self-identified needs. Four areas will be the focus using work groups within the Native Vision Tobacco Coalition for targeted community involvement and network development: (1) Data Needs, (2) Social and Environmental Mapping, (3) Community Involvement and (4) Dissemination of Information. Partnering of American Indian researchers and American Indian health providers brings to Native Vision a unique perspective which is especially important in such a religiously and culturally sensitive area as the study of tobacco. Our ultimate goal is to decrease health disparities among urban American Indians as we work to reduce commercial tobacco abuse by using ceremonial "lifestyle" teachings.
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