Introduction: National surveys show a low prevalence of tobacco cigarette smoking within the Asian American/Pacific Islander population. However, smoking rates loom higher when data is disaggregated by ethnicity and gender. Nevertheless, few data are available on how smokers in this population quit smoking. The aim of this study was to collect first-hand perspectives from adult male Chinese and Vietnamese current and former smokers who were patients at a community clinic in Seattle, Washington, in order to understand the facilitators toward smoking cessation and the methods that they might use to quit smoking.
Methods: A telephone survey was administered to age-eligible male Chinese and Vietnamese clinic patients who were current or former smokers. A total of 196 Chinese and 198 Vietnamese (N=394) adult male current and former smokers were contacted from a pool culled from the clinic database.
Results: Descriptive analysis using SPSS software revealed ethnicity-specific differences between current and former smokers regarding influences on smoking cessation behavior as well as uptake and endorsement of cessation methods. Family encouragement and physician recommendations were significant facilitators on the cessation process. Will power and self-determination were frequently mentioned by both Vietnamese and Chinese smokers as helpful methods to quit smoking. Vietnamese smokers were more resourceful than Chinese smokers in their use of smoking cessation methods.
Conclusion: Even with access to cessation classes at a health clinic, half of current smokers indicated that they had no intention to quit. Such attitudes underscore the need for promotion of effective smoking cessation programs as well as successful strategies for reaching smokers. These conclusions are particularly important for Chinese smokers, who were comparatively less resourceful in their use of smoking cessation methods. Future studies should explore integrating the concept of will power with current mainstream state-of-the-art smoking cessation programs.