Korean Americans are the fifth-largest group of Americans of Asian or Pacific Islander descent in the U.S. In this group, cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of morbidity and mortality. In 2007, 21% of Korean-American adults in California smoked, compared with 14% of the overall California population.
More than 70% of Korean Americans are foreign born. Among those who are age 25 or older, 28% do not speak English well and nearly 80% speak Korean at home. This language barrier can hamper effective healthcare delivery and health-related education. But Korean Americans are often comfortable using the Internet; they can search for information available in their language. Internet-based health promotion may be particularly useful to this group.
A culturally appropriate, effective, and easily disseminated online smoking cessation program could help reduce smoking in the Korean-American community. During the center's previous core research project (Internet-Based Smoking Cessation Intervention for Korean Americans), the researchers chose a commercially available online smoking cessation program, adapted it for Korean Americans, and translated it into Korean. The previous study showed that, while only a minority completed the program, those who did were more likely to quit smoking for 30 days or longer one year after enrollment.
The researchers are trying to determine how best to administer the latest version of this online program, Quitting Is Winning II. First, the structure and design of the program are revised and updated. Then, researchers modify the survey and incentives structure to determine which combination of the two is most successful in helping participants quit smoking.
The investigators will also assess the prevalence of health conditions among the Korean-American smokers and determine whether these conditions—asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hypertension, heart disease, and mental illness—make it more difficult to quit smoking.