Filling the Void: A Multi-Component, Culturally Adapted Smoking Cessation Program Integrating Western and Non-Western Therapies

Authors: Beckham, Sheila; Washburn, Anuenue; Ka'aha'aina, Darlene; Bradley, Stephen

Source: American Journal of Health Education, 1 July 2007, vol. 38, no. 4, pp. 208-211(4)


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Background: Smoking is especially prevalent among Native Hawaiians. The 2002 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System revealed that 33.8% of Hawaiians were current smokers. Native Hawaiians have the highest age-adjusted lung cancer incidence and mortality rates and the highest prevalence of asthma among all ethnicities. Purpose: This study describes the outcomes of a culturally appropriate, integrated smoking cessation program. Methods: Each participant (n=209) was exposed to multiple treatment options—Hawaiian therapies, Western pharmacotherapy, acupuncture, and fitness training—and was permitted to opt for the program of personal preference. Pre-post program evaluation, with three-, six-, and twelve-month follow-up, was performed. Results: Of the 177 participants who attended two or more sessions, 59% (n=105) quit or reduced smoking by one half, and 23% (n=41) quit. The three-, six-, and twelve-month quit rates were 23% (n=40), 15% (n=27), and 15% (n=27), respectively. Discussion: There is limited data available on quit rates for culturally specific, multi-component smoking cessation programs. A variety of methods and treatments, including pharmacological, lifestyle, alternative, and behavioral therapies, have enhanced smoking cessation program outcomes. Translation to Health Education Practice: Through the development of a multi-component program that integrated Western methodologies with traditional healing practices, a void was filled. Similar culturally informed methods may enhance future efforts in designing ethnic-specific smoking cessation programs.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2007

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