Objectives: To describe a homemade form of smokeless tobacco known as Iqmik used among Alaska Natives residing in western Alaska.
Methods: Individual and small-group interviews were conducted with 23 adult Alaska Natives. The major themes from the interview data were summarized. A chemical analysis was conducted of the alkalinity of a sample of fungus ash used to prepare Iqmik.
Results: Few adverse health effects of using Iqmik were reported. The alkalinity of the sample of fungus ash was high (pH=10.9).
Conclusion: The high alkalinity of Iqmik may contribute to the higher rates of tobacco use in this population.