Background: Cigarette smoking prevalence rates among Southeast Asian males are among the highest reported in comparison with other ethnic male groups in the United States. The objective of this study is to profile current smokers, former smokers, and never smokers among Southeast Asian males, based on subject characteristics.
Methods: Southeast Asian (Cambodian, Laotian, and Vietnamese) males residing in the Greater Columbus, Ohio, area were surveyed, utilizing culturally sensitive instruments and interviewers, with respect to demographic and acculturation variables. All subjects were biochemically verified by collecting a saliva sample at the time of the interviews.
Results: Those Southeast Asian males who quit smoking tended to be older, employed, more assimilated into the U.S. culture, and of Cambodian ethnicity. The current smokers, relative to never smokers, tended to be older, not in the labor force, traditionally oriented to their native culture, less educated, and of Laotian or Vietnamese ethnicity.
Conclusions: Specific strategies for smoking cessation programs would indicate more intense, and possibly different, efforts be directed at Southeast Asian males of Laotian and Vietnamese ethnicity who are younger, unemployed and less assimilated into the U.S. culture. On the other hand, smoking prevention programs would target those individuals who are at highest risk of smoking.