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Determinants of Tobacco Use Among Young Adult South Asians

Institution: Special Service for Groups
Investigator(s): Zul Surani, B.S.
Award Cycle: 2010 (Cycle 19) Grant #: 19BT-0043 Award: $150,931
Subject Area: Tobacco-Use Prevention and Cessation
Award Type: Pilot CARA

Initial Award Abstract
South Asians (SA), individuals from Bhutan, Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, represent the third most populous Asian group in the U.S. While high rates of tobacco use, both cigarette smoking and smokeless forms of tobacco have been documented in certain South Asian countries, we know relatively little about the rate of tobacco use or choice of tobacco products among these SA populations in the U.S. Moreover, our knowledge of the factors that influence tobacco use among SAs in this country is extremely limited. Across all racial/ethnic groups in the U.S., young adults have among the highest rates of tobacco use. Yet, to date, they remain largely understudied and, as a result, present unique challenges to the development of effective methods to quit tobacco use. To our knowledge, scientifically-based programs developed specifically to help young adult SA populations quit tobacco use do not exist. Over the two years of this proposed project, we will establish a community-university collaboration to study tobacco use among 176 Bangladeshi, Indian, Nepali, and Pakistani current and former tobacco users between 18 and 29 years of age. Utilizing in-depth interviews, focus groups, surveys, and real time data collection using PDAs, we will identify the cultural, social, environmental, and intrapersonal factors that impact smoking and quitting behaviors among our SA participants. We will disseminate our findings to SA communities through community meetings, webinars and other web-based distribution methods and to external audiences through scientific meetings and publications. Ultimately, our study results will inform the development of future cessation strategies uniquely suited to young adult SAs in the U.S. The proposed pilot is directly relevant to TRDRP’s research mission in that it addresses one of TRDRP’s primary areas of research, namely, “Prevention and Cessation of Tobacco Use and Tobacco-Related Health Disparities among California’s Diverse Populations."