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Keywords:

  • health policy;
  • immigrants;
  • Koreans;
  • tobacco control policies

Abstract  The purpose of this secondary data analysis is to report Korean male smokers’ perceptions of tobacco control policies in the United States. Descriptive data from four focus groups held in New York City in 2003 are presented. Focus group interviews were used to collect data, and the two investigators independently analyzed all four recorded group sessions. Korean male immigrants living in New York City area were recruited, and 22 volunteered to participate. Exclusion criteria included immigration to the United States before age 12, no smoking history, and use of chemical substance other than tobacco. Korean men differed in perceptions of the policies based on smoking status and length of U.S. residency. Among current smokers, recent immigrants had difficulty understanding smoking restrictions, whereas longtime residents complained of price increases. Both groups suggested that policies target the tobacco industry and do not target smokers. In contrast, former smokers supported more regulation of public smoking and suggested use of more aggressive antismoking campaigns. Public policymakers should take into consideration cultural attitudes and beliefs about smoking behavior in the design and implementation of tobacco control policies that affect ethnic groups whose cultural and value orientations may differ from the mainstream.