Wednesday, 20 November 2002 - 3:30 PM
Hilton San Francisco Yosemite Room C (130)

This presentation is part of D&D-251. Tobacco Control Research in Communities of Color

Survey Design of Smoking Among Chinese and Guidance From History and Culture

Donna Shelley, MD, New York City Department of Health, Tobacco Control Program, dshelley@health.nyc.gov, Marianne Fahs, PhD, Fahsm@newschool.edu, Donna Shelley, MD, dshelley@health.nyc.gov, Nina Kontos, PhD, KontosN@newschool.edu.

Learning Objectives: Identify specific culturally-based issues in developing survey questionnaires designed to assess the effectiveness of tobacco-related programmatic interventions in Chinese American communities.

Abstract: China is the world's largest producer and consumer of tobacco. Chinese Americans, the fastest growing ethnic group in the US, may be at particularly high risk for excess tobacco-related morbidity and mortality. Vast cultural differences suggest that results based on Western populations may not be directly applicable to the Chinese population. Specific care must be taken in promoting smoking cessation among Chinese Americans.

Although tobacco was initially observed to cure a number of diseases, traditional medical texts warned against improper and excess tobacco use because harmful health effects. Currently, despite the fact that the majority of Chinese smokers believe smoking to be harmful to health, few report wishing to quit. High proportions of Chinese doctors smoke. One reason may be strong traditional beliefs in moderation. Chinese doctors are more likely than Western medical doctors to provide nutrition, exercise, and stress management advice for their patients but less likely to provide advice on smoking. While politeness has been cited as one reason that Chinese doctors shy away from discussing smoking with patients, the difference can partly be explained by the importance of nutrition and diet therapies in the practice of traditional Chinese medicine.

The purpose of this paper is to present specific culturally-based issues in the development of a survey questionnaire designed to assess the effectiveness of tobacco-related programmatic interventions in two Chinese American communities in NYC. Preliminary findings will be discussed as part of a large 4-year NCI-sponsored longitudinal study of the effectiveness of tobacco control policy among Chinese Americans.


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