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Am J Health Promot. 2018 Feb;32(2):381-391. doi: 10.1177/0890117117729928. Epub 2017 Sep 12.

Older African American Homeless-Experienced Smokers' Attitudes Toward Tobacco Control Policies-Results from the HOPE HOME Study.

Author information

1
1 Division of General Internal Medicine, University of California San Francisco, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, San Francisco, CA, USA.
2
2 Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To examine attitudes toward tobacco control policies among older African American homeless-experienced smokers.

APPROACH:

A qualitative study.

SETTING:

Oakland, California.

PARTICIPANTS:

Twenty-two African American older homeless-experienced smokers who were part of a longitudinal study on health and health-related outcomes (Health Outcomes of People Experiencing Homelessness in Older Middle Age Study).

METHOD:

We conducted in-depth, semistructured interviews with each participant to explore beliefs and attitudes toward tobacco use and cessation, barriers to smoking cessation, and attitudes toward current tobacco control strategies including raising cigarette prices, smoke-free policies, and graphic warning labels. We used a grounded theory approach to analyze the transcripts.

RESULTS:

Community social norms supportive of cigarette smoking and co-use of tobacco with other illicit substances were strong motivators of initiation and maintenance of tobacco use. Self-reported barriers to cessation included nicotine dependence, the experience of being homeless, fatalistic attitudes toward smoking cessation, substance use, and exposure to tobacco industry marketing. While participants were cognizant of current tobacco control policies and interventions for cessation, they felt that they were not specific enough for African Americans experiencing homelessness. Participants expressed strong support for strategies that de-normalized tobacco use and advertised the harmful effects of tobacco.

CONCLUSION:

Older African American homeless-experienced smokers face significant barriers to smoking cessation. Interventions that advertise the harmful effects of tobacco may be effective in stimulating smoking cessation among this population.

KEYWORDS:

cigarette smoking; graphic warning labels; homeless adults; smoke-free policies; smoking cessation

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