Introduction: Vietnamese American men have smoking prevalence rates higher than the general population. We analyzed Vietnamese American smoking behavior by demographic and health-related factors, including some specific to Vietnamese, in the largest tobacco-specific survey yet targeting the Vietnamese population.
Methods: Using a statewide surname probability sample and computer-assisted telephone interviewing, we surveyed 1,101 Vietnamese men and 1,078 Vietnamese women in California (63.5% participation among successfully contacted eligible individuals) in 2007-2008. We conducted multivariate regression models to analyze the association between Vietnamese male smoking status and demographic and health-related factors.
Results: Among women, <1% were current smokers and <2% were former smokers. Among men, 25% were current and 24% were former smokers. Regression models for Vietnamese men delineated factors associated with both current and former smoking (vs. never smoking): being married, being employed, having lower educational attainment, and consuming alcohol. Other factors associated with current smoking (vs. never smoking) were having no health insurance, having seen a Vietnamese doctor or no doctor visit in the past year, having Vietnamese military or Vietnamese reeducation camp experience, having less knowledge about the harms of smoking, and reporting higher depression symptoms. Increasing age and not being Buddhist were associated with former (vs. never) smoking.
Discussion: Smoking patterns of Vietnamese women and Vietnamese men are significantly different from the general California population. Tobacco control efforts targeting Vietnamese men should include community outreach since current smokers have low health care access, utilization, and knowledge.