Exploring the relationship between acculturation and smoking behavior within four Southeast Asian communities of Minnesota

Melissa L. Constantine, Todd H. Rockwood, Barbara A. Schillo, Nina Alesci, Steven S. Foldes, Tam Phan, Yanat Chhith, Jessie E. Saul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Objectives: This study sought to measure the prevalence of smoking among the Hmong, Vietnamese, Lao, and Cambodian communities of Minnesota and explore the relationship between smoking and acculturation within these communities. Methods: A community-based participatory research framework was used through all phases of this study. Standard as well as community-developed measures of acculturation were used. Data were obtained by face-to-face and telephone interviews with 1,628 respondents from July 2006 to March 2007. Results: Vietnamese and Cambodian men smoke at higher rates than men in the U.S. general population (35% and 58% compared with 20%, respectively). Most men across the Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Lao populations started smoking prior to immigration to the United States, although most former smokers quit smoking after immigration to the United States. Most male Hmong respondents started smoking after immigration. Education was predictive of smoking status across genders, with less education associated with greater odds of being a smoker. Logistic regression found some acculturation measures to be predictive of smoking status across both genders: Less acculturated male respondents and more acculturated female respondents are more likely to be smokers. Discussion: Results of this study suggest that the role of acculturation in tobacco use may not be straightforward as has been presented previously. Other factors, such as social norms and cultural or linguistic isolation, may also be playing a role in tobacco use patterns and may play different roles for different subgroups. Further research is needed within each population and subgroups within those populations to understand these relationships and how they affect smoking behavior

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)715-723
Number of pages9
JournalNicotine and Tobacco Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - Mar 20 2010


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