Restoring Traditional Tobacco Knowledge: Health Implications and Risk Factors of Tobacco Use and Nicotine Addiction

  • Charles M. SnyderEmail author
Part of the Interdisciplinary Contributions to Archaeology book series (IDCA)


The use of tobacco (Nicotiana sp.) and other smoking plants has been a feature of Native American traditions for thousands of years, or since “time immemorial” according to some oral histories. These powerful plants have served in social, spiritual, and economic roles that have made them central to cultures around the world. However, the abuse of tobacco has led to disease epidemics that have killed millions around the world and represents an extremely damaging health risk that disproportionately effects Native American populations. This chapter will discuss the implications of tobacco use on contemporary physical, mental, and community health and the impact of traditional cultural knowledge loss around tobacco use. Furthermore, I will discuss current efforts to mitigate the harmful effects of tobacco abuse and why archaeological pipe, tobacco, and smoking research is an important element of efforts to address the epidemic of tobacco-related illness being experienced by Native Americans today.


Commercial tobacco Historical trauma Native identity Drug and tobacco cessation Substance abuse Smoking prevalence 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rhodes CollegeMemphisUSA

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