It's others, not the police: smoking, reprimand, and fines among adults of Korean descent in California

Health Psychol. 2010 May;29(3):255-61. doi: 10.1037/a0018166.


Objective: This study assesses the association of immediate social and legal reprimand and current smoking status among Californians of Korean descent.

Design: Data were drawn from a population-based probability sample using a telephone survey conducted by bilingual, professional interviewers (N = 2085). About 85.0% of eligible respondents completed interviews and 86.3% of participants preferred to be interviewed in Korean.

Main outcome measure: Smoking status was measured using Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria, ever smoked 100 cigarettes and currently smoke every day or some days.

Results and conclusion: Reports of immediate criticism by others in several settings was associated with nonsmoking, but likelihood of immediate legal penalties was unrelated. Participants were far less likely to expect legal than social sanction. Results were replicated after controlling for reinforcers of smoking and ecologically relevant variables including models of smoking, primary group social support for smoking, acculturation, sex, acculturation by sex (male) interaction, age, and education. It may be efficacious to target public health interventions encouraging appropriate social sanctions of smoking in public among persons of Korean descent, and to encourage strict enforcement of legal penalties for smoking in public places.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Asian / statistics & numerical data*
  • California / epidemiology
  • Cultural Characteristics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Police
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking / ethnology*
  • Smoking / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Smoking Cessation / ethnology*
  • Smoking Cessation / psychology
  • Smoking Prevention
  • Social Environment
  • Social Support
  • Young Adult