Objective: The purpose of this qualitative analysis is to increase our understanding of minority smokers' experiences and beliefs about guideline-recommended smoking cessation treatments.
Methods: We conducted sixteen focus groups (N=95) among current and former smokers from four ethnic minority communities in Minneapolis/St. Paul in 2005. Focus groups were conducted separately for American Indians, Vietnamese, Hmong and African Americans.
Results: Participants reported little experience with counseling and views on seeking help from physicians were mixed. African American and American Indian participants expressed feelings of mistrust and negative experiences with doctors. Hmong and Vietnamese smokers viewed doctors positively but did not regard them as an important resource to help with quitting, and especially for Vietnamese, the cultural value of mental control and self-determination was seen as most important to quit smoking. Across all the groups, pharmacotherapy was rarely utilized and participants had low knowledge and poor understanding of the benefits of pharmacotherapy.
Conclusions: Personal beliefs, views toward doctors, and lack of knowledge are important determinants of the use of tobacco treatments among ethnic minority smokers. In order to increase minority smokers' utilization of evidence-based tobacco cessation treatments, effective strategies are needed to deliver accurate information about treatment from trusted sources.