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Nicotine Tob Res. 2003 Dec;5(6):803-11.

Cigarette smoking among Chinese Americans and the influence of linguistic acculturation.

Author information

1
Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center, Section of General Internal Medicine, Center for Chronic Disease Outcomes Research, Minneapolis, MN 55417, USA. steven.fu@med.va.gov

Abstract

Less acculturated Chinese Americans experience cultural and language barriers. The present study assessed the relationship between linguistic aspects of acculturation and cigarette smoking among Chinese Americans. A cross-sectional, self-administered survey was administered to a consecutive sample of 541 Chinese American adults (aged 18 years or older) attending four pediatric, medical, or dental practices located in Philadelphia's Chinatown from November 2000 to February 2001. Linguistic acculturation was measured by adapting a reliable and valid acculturation scale developed for Southeast Asians. English and Chinese language proficiency subscales were utilized to analyze the association between language proficiency and current smoking. Whereas 25% of Chinese American men reported current smoking, only 3% of Chinese American women reported current smoking. Chinese American men with lower English proficiency reported significantly higher rates of current smoking compared with Chinese American men with a higher level of English proficiency (33% vs. 18%, p<.01). Less English-proficient Chinese American male smokers were less likely to have received advice from a physician to quit smoking (50% vs. 85%, p=.01). In multivariate analysis, increased English proficiency was associated with decreased odds of current smoking (OR=0.38, 95% CI=0.16-0.89) among Chinese American men after controlling for confounding variables. In conclusion, higher English proficiency was associated with decreased current smoking among Chinese American men. Chinese American men with limited English proficiency should especially be targeted for tobacco control interventions. Further research is needed to assess whether acculturation is associated with smoking among Chinese American women and with use of smoking cessation treatments and services by Chinese American smokers.

PMID:
14668064
DOI:
10.1080/14622200310001614566
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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