Beliefs and attitudes regarding smoking cessation among American Indians: A pilot study

Won S. Choi, Christine Makosky Daley, Aimee James, Janet Thomas, Ryan Schupbach, Marcia Segraves, Randall Barnoskie, Jasjit S. Ahluwalia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Background: American Indians (AI) have some of the highest smoking rates in the United States. The Muscogee Nation of Oklahoma developed a culturally targeted program called "Second Wind" based on the American Cancer Society's FreshStart smoking cessation program, but it has not been formally tested. Methods: We conducted six focus groups of AI adult smokers at the Haskell Health Center (Lawrence, Kansas). Focus groups assessed beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors related to smoking cessation, as well as participants' perceptions of the "Second Wind" curriculum's appropriateness and feasibility for this diverse group. Focus groups were audiotaped, transcribed, coded, and analyzed for content themes. Participants were 41 AI adults (63% female), 21-67 years of age. Participants smoked an average of 13 cigarettes per day, half had made a quit attempt in the past year, and 63% were daily smokers. For pharmacotherapy, most preferred the nicotine patch. Results: Focus group responses were categorized into three major themes: traditional tobacco use, quitting and quit attempts, and the "Second Wind" program. Those who reported that traditional tobacco use is important were less inclined to use tobacco recreationally. Second Wind modifications suggested by participants included increasing use of AI imagery and addressing the meaning of tobacco to AI cultures. Conclusions: American Indian smokers are unique because of their traditional use of tobacco. Our participants felt that smoking cessation can be accomplished without discouraging traditional use of tobacco. We suggest ways to improve the "Second Wind" curriculum so that it is targeted for a heterogeneous group of AI smokers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-40
Number of pages6
JournalEthnicity and Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2006


  • American Indians
  • Smoking cessation


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