Sacred header

What is 'sacred'?
Traditional use of tobacco

The Use of Sacred Tobacco is Our Tradition

Our ancestors have used sacred Tobacco for thousands of years. Tobacco has grown on the North American continent for at least the last 8000 years.

Sacred sa•cred (say-krid) adj.

Tobacco Pouch1. Dedicated to or set apart for worship.
2. Worthy of religious veneration.
3. Made or declared holy.
4. Dedicated or devoted exclusively to a single use,
    purpose, or person.
5. Worthy of respect; venerable.
6. Of or relating to religious objects, rites, or practices.

Tribal Elders are dedicated to keeping tobacco sacred. Tobacco is offered to the Creator of the earth, for our land, our fish, our acorns, and our life. The Creator gives us many gifts. Tobacco is a gift to be used in a sacred way, with respect.

When used traditionally with respect and honor, tobacco can promote good health and assist with spiritual guidance and growth. Each Tribe across this United States has different ceremonial uses. Learn yours, use it, respect it. Indigenous peoples have a common knowledge of sacred, of respect, and of honor. Tribal Elders are dedicated to keeping tobacco sacred. We thank the Creator of Mother Earth for our life. We offer her sacred tobacco in our ceremonies with respect.

Traditional Uses of Tobacco:

Risk of Cancer:
  • Very low, none if not inhaled.
Type of Use:
  • Tobacco offerings to the earth, the drum, a river or a fire. Offerings are often placed/scattered by hand and are rarely smoked.
  • Smoking a Sacred Pipe (not all pipes contain tobacco when smoked. In fact some tribes do not use tobacco at all. Some tribal people will use a blend of tobacco with other herbs in their pipe).
  • Offered to a Healer or an Elder as a sign of respect.

Sacred Pipe


No Smoking logo with Native American border



  • Discipline.
  • Respect for the Creator and all creation.
  • Understanding of one's culture.
  • Spiritual development.


Special Notes:
  • There are many traditional ways to use tobacco. It is smoked in some traditional ceremonies. However, it is generally used less than once a month. There is very little risk of cancer when used this way.

link to Commercial Tobacco pagelink to Sacred pagelink to Respect pagelink to Life pagelink to Interactive Games page

link to Recycle for TUPE page

Tobacco Use Prevention Education Home Page link