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Cancer Pract. 2000 Sep-Oct;8(5):223-30.

Smoking behavior, knowledge, and beliefs among Korean Americans.

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Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Michigan, USA.



The purpose of the study was to examine smoking behavior, knowledge, and beliefs among Korean Americans.


One hundred four Korean American men and 159 women, 40 to 69 years old, living in Chicago, Illinois, served as study respondents. The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) Cancer Control Supplement Questionnaire was used to collect data. The NHIS was translated into Korean with minor modifications to develop a culturally appropriate instrument.


This study suggests that smoking is almost exclusively a male behavior (38.5%) and that Korean American men smoke mostly cigarettes. Almost 90% of women have never smoked, whereas 23% of men reported never smoking. Respondents with a non-Christian background or no religious affiliation were 16.5 times more likely to be current smokers. Respondents who had lived in the United States less than 10 years were 12.5 times more likely to be current smokers. More than 90% of men, regardless of smoking status, were able to identify an association between smoking and major chronic diseases.


The prevalence of smoking among these Korean American men places them at considerable risk for smoking-related disease. Healthcare providers must be better informed about smoking behavior in this group, and specific attention to recently migrated men and those reporting religions other than Christianity is recommended. Health-protecting strategies for women and children who fall victim to secondhand smoke, or who may be targeted by tobacco advertising, are also an important step in disease prevention for this population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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