The rate of smoking for Korean-American adults is significantly higher than for non-Asian-American adults. Most Korean-American adults who attempt to quit smoking try to do so on their own. They also report using the Internet daily, often to find health information. Researchers developed a project to determine the effectiveness of providing a smoking cessation program through the Internet to help Korean-American adult smokers quit.
A project team comprising researchers and the center’s Korean American Community Advisory Board adapted a commercially available, Internet-based quit smoking program. The 50-week program encouraged smokers to practice techniques to manage their thoughts and actions so they could quit smoking and resist smoking after they quit. The team translated the program from English to Korean to accommodate participants’ language preference, and created a 64-page booklet of the program. Researchers recruited 1,112 Korean-American adult smokers who had regular Internet access by using a campaign that included promotion through Korean-American organizations, email advertisements, and paid and unpaid Korean-language Internet advertisements. All participants completed a baseline survey about their smoking status and smoking behavior. Researchers randomly assigned participants to either the Internet or print format, and mailed booklets to the latter group.
Approximately half of the participants responded to a follow-up survey on smoking behavior and status at the end of the 50-week period. Because of the large loss to follow-up, it is difficult to predict how many people originally recruited to the study quit smoking. Participants who reported they had not smoked in the past 30 days were designated as having successfully quit smoking. A conservative estimate assumes that all non-respondents failed to quit, or about 12% of participants in each group (Internet and print) had quit. However, secondary analysis of the Internet group showed that quitting was higher among participants who completed the online program: 26% of program completers quit compared with 10% who did not complete the program. Researchers are further developing the Internet intervention.
McDonnell DD, Kazinets G, Lee HJ, Moskowitz JM. An internet-based smoking cessation program for Korean Americans: results from a randomized controlled trial. Nicotine & Tobacco Research 2011 May;13(5):336-43. Epub 2011 Feb 4.