Lower smoking rates could result from new tobacco compacts

The Oklahoman Editorial Published: July 10, 2013

The smoking rate among American Indians in Oklahoma is higher than all other ethnic groups. Nearly half its adolescent population smokes, according to a report by the U.S. surgeon general. Pushing up the cost of cigarettes could help push those statistics down. Making tobacco more expensive is “really considered a gold standard in tobacco prevention,” says the state Health Department's tribal liaison.

This should be an area where state and tribal officials can reach agreement. Certainly, improving the health of Oklahoma's Indian population should be an appealing prospect for tribes.

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