Perception, Cultural Norm, and Self-Efficacy: Edges of Smoking Habit Triangle among Chinese Adult Smokers
Mark FitzGerald Iraj Poureslami
Journal of Community Medicine & Health Education
Objectives: We explored cultural and belief contexts for smoking habits within Mandarin and Cantonese speaking communities. The aim was to identify their perceived barriers and facilitators to successful cessation. We attempted to translate existing knowledge and our previous experience in designing a conceptual framework to conduct culturally-based participatory research. Methods: A mixed qualitative and quantitative approach was applied, involving community members, keyinformants, and
... onals in the design and implementation of the cross-sectional research. Three focus groups were conducted with 16 smokers from the target communities to assess their viewpoints on study framework and measurement tool. Results: Participants were 167 current smokers, (137 males and 30 females) recruited with the help of community agencies and collaborating physicians. We assessed smoking patterns, beliefs, and perceptions and found a majority believed that smoking was harmful on their health. Younger smokers (<35 years of age) were more likely to not mind smoking in front of young children compared to older smokers (≥35 years of age) (p<0.001). People with high school or lower levels of education believed that they would benefit more from smoking than suffering from withdrawal symptoms compared to the higher educated smokers (p<0.05). Mandarin speaking smokers were significantly more likely to encourage others to quit than Cantonese speaking smokers (p<0.05). In addition, many indicated not receiving adequate support from their care providers and lack of access to culturally and linguistically appropriate cessation programs preventing their attempt to quit smoking. Conclusion: Our study highlighted the importance of tobacco control regulations for Mandarin and Cantonese speaking immigrants with limited access to healthcare information and for younger smokers whose attention to health consequences of smoking may be limited as well. Participants of this study were generally aware of the health risks and were willing to quit. Access to appropriate cessation programs would fulfill their willingness.