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American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
4077.0: Tuesday, December 13, 2005 - Board 4

Abstract #106060

Determinants of tobacco use among Long Beach Cambodian Americans

Robert H. Friis, PhD, Department of Health Science, California State University, Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90840, 562.985.1537, rfriis@csulb.edu, Mohammed Forouzesh, MPH, PhD, Health Science Department, California State University at Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90840-4902, Him S. Chhim, MS, MPA, Executive Director, Cambodian Association of America, 2390 Pacific Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90806, Sheetal Monga, MS, Health Science Department, California State University, Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90840, and Donna Sze, Health Science Department, California State University Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90840.

Cambodian Americans demonstrate smoking prevalence figures that are relatively high in comparison with other California and U.S. racial and ethnic groups. For male Cambodian Americans, smoking prevalence (estimated at 71%) is similar to that reported in Cambodia. Research is needed on how Cambodian Americans' attitudes lead to high smoking prevalence. In focus groups, we explored predisposing, reinforcing, and enabling factors that affect the tobacco use practices of Cambodian Americans in Long Beach, CA. In this pilot study, we selected a convenience sample (n = 120) who participated in focus groups. Respondents were clients of health and social services programs offered by the Cambodian Association of America. The study revealed four main cultural dimensions: (1) social factors (e.g., role modeling and peer group influences); (2) coping practices (e.g., stress relief and boredom management); (3) medicinal purposes (e.g., repelling mosquitoes and leeches); and (4) cultural traditions (e.g., use of cigarettes as religious offerings and gifts given during wedding ceremonies). For example, cultural factors are related to the fact that men smoke more frequently than women. The focus groups suggested that this gender difference was due to the stigmatization of women who smoke. In particular, young marriageable women do not smoke because of their fear of rejection by potential mates. The information gathered in this study will aid in the development of culturally sensitive smoking cessation programs for use in the Cambodian American community.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Community Research, Tobacco

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

I wish to disclose that I have NO financial interests or other relationship with the manufactures of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services or commercial supporters.

Cultural Competence: Understanding Smoking in Special Populations Poster Session

The 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 10-14, 2005) of APHA