• Open Access

Acculturation status has a modest effect on smoking prevalence among a cohort of Pacific fathers in New Zealand


Correspondence to: El-Shadan Tautolo, School of Public Health and Psychosocial Studies, AUT University, Private Bag 92006, Auckland 1142 New Zealand; e-mail: elshadan.tautolo@aut.ac.nz


Objective: This article explores the relationship between smoking prevalence and acculturation among a cohort of Pacific Island fathers resident in New Zealand.

Methods: Overall, 766 Pacific fathers were included in the analysis. Self-reported smoking status was assessed and compared with data from a robust epidemiological measure of acculturation status specifically designed for use amongst the Pacific population. Additional variables describing socio-demographic and other circumstances of the participating fathers were also incorporated in the analysis because of their known association with smoking behaviour.

Results: Overall, 40.3% of Pacific fathers were current smokers. Multivariable logistic regression showed that acculturation status was associated with smoking crude (p<0.001) and multivariable logistic regression models, when adjusting to socio-demographic variables (p=0.008).

Conclusion: Smoking rates for Pacific fathers in New Zealand are high. There appears to be a modest effect of acculturation on smoking prevalence, where those fathers with higher Pacific cultural identity have the lowest smoking rates. It is opined that the strength of identification and a holistic view of health enhances the motivations of Pacific fathers to be smoke-free in New Zealand.

Implications: Strategies which maintain, enhance, and incorporate fathers’ Pacific cultural identity may be a useful addition to comprehensive tobacco control strategies to reduce the prevalence of smoking in Pacific people living in New Zealand.