Iq'mik

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION OF USE:

Alaska (United States)

PRODUCT CONSTITUENTS:

tobacco, punk ash

HOW USED:

Users pinch off a small piece and chew the iq’mik. The user may pre-chew the iq’mik and place it in a small box for later use by others, including children and sometimes teething babies.

WHO USES:

Alaska Natives (men, women and children). One study found that 52% of Yukon- Kuskokwim Delta Alaska Natives used iq’mik.

PROCESSING / MANUFACTURING:

Fire-cured tobacco leaves are mixed with punk ash (ash generated by burning a woody fungus that grows on the bark of birch trees). The ingredients are available at grocery stores and retail outlets, but are generally combined by the user before use. It is believed that the punk ash in the mixture raises the pH level in the mouth, increasing the dose and enhancing the delivery of nicotine to the brain.

Iq'mik

Page updated: 02 Apr 2021