267702 Moving tobacco control to the forefront of the African-American community

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Martha Dominguez, BA, MA , Public Health, Walden University, Baltimore, MD
Mary V. Modayil, MSPH, PhD , California Department of Public Health, California Tobacco Control Program, Sacramento, CA
Shirley T. Shelton, BS , California Dept of Public Health, California Tobacco Control Program, Sacramento, CA
Objective: To understand existing challenges in mobilizing the African American community in California towards adopting a tobacco-free lifestyle given its higher smoking prevalence.

Methods: We conducted three two-hour focus groups with African American consumers in three California cities (Los Angeles (LA), Berkeley, and Sacramento) for a total of nine groups (n=8 per group). Each group was stratified by smoking status and age: non-smokers (ages 26-50), younger smokers (ages 24-34), and older smokers (ages 35-56). Respondents were asked to write down initial responses prior to discussion to mitigate group effect. A grounded theory approach was used to analyze qualitative responses.

Findings: The overwhelming majority stated that they hoped to quit smoking someday, with most having made a quit attempt due to a life-changing event such as the birth of a child. When asked what aspect of smoking bothered them the most, smokers tended to mention the smell, followed by taste, and cost. Overall, negative health consequences were stated as a minor concern. There were differences by city on how non-smokers engaged with tobacco use as a topic, with those in LA appearing to disconnect from the issue of smoking while those in Berkeley seemed to take active steps to get their loved ones to quit. Respondents were extremely sensitive to being targeted in advertising, with most being aware of how the tobacco industry disproportionately targets this community.

Implications/Conclusions: There are educational opportunities to heighten awareness among African American community members regarding the harmful and sinister tactics of the tobacco industry.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
•Describe perceptions within the AA community regarding TI targeting and the failure to recognize tobacco as an issue negatively impacting positive lifestyle. •Explain how the socio-environmental setting can influence perceptions of tobacco use.

Keywords: African American, Tobacco Control

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Martha E. Dominguez works for the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and recently worked on the tobacco program on the African American Campaign and to foster a collaborative partnership with the program’s African American stakeholder group. Martha has a strong background in community health, social change programs, and mass media campaigns. Martha’s currently working on her doctorate degree in public health with an emphasis in community health education from Walden University.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.