Iqmik: a form of smokeless tobacco used among Alaska natives

Am J Health Behav. Nov-Dec 2005;29(6):588-94. doi: 10.5555/ajhb.2005.29.6.588.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alaska
  • Female
  • Fungi / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Inuits*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tobacco, Smokeless / adverse effects*
  • Tobacco, Smokeless / analysis
  • Tobacco, Smokeless / chemistry