RESEARCH PAPER
Chinese immigrant smokers’ access barriers to tobacco cessation services and experience using social media and text messaging
 
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1
Department of Population Health, Grossman School of Medicine, New York University, New York, United States
2
School of Global Public Health, New York University, New York, United States
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Nan Jiang   

Department of Population Health, Grossman School of Medicine, New York University, 180 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10016, United States
Submission date: 2020-05-29
Final revision date: 2020-07-18
Acceptance date: 2020-08-02
Publication date: 2020-09-11
 
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2020;6(September):52
 
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
ABSTRACT
Introduction:
Smoking rates remain disproportionately high among Chinese immigrants in the US, particularly in males. Community-based smoking cessation services and quitlines have low engagement rates. Social media and text messaging programs can be effective in promoting quit rates and improving treatment engagement. This study examined Chinese immigrant smokers’ barriers to accessing available smoking cessation services and patterns of using social media platforms and mobile phone text messaging.

Methods:
We conducted in-depth interviews (n=30) and a brief survey (n=49) with adult Chinese immigrant smokers leaving in New York City in 2018. Qualitative interviews explored smokers’ challenges with smoking cessation, barriers to accessing and using smoking cessation services, and experience using social media and text messaging. The quantitative survey assessed smoking and quitting behaviors, and social media and text messaging use patterns.

Results:
Qualitative data revealed that participants faced various barriers to accessing cessation services, including the lack of awareness about services, skepticism about treatment effects, reliance on willpower for cessation, and time constraints. WeChat was mainly used to maintain social networking and acquire information. Participants rarely used text messaging or other social media platforms. Quantitative data showed that 55% of participants had no plan to quit smoking. Among those who reported past-year quit attempts (45%), 55% used cessation assistance. WeChat was the most frequently used platform with 94% users.

Conclusions:
WeChat has potential to serve as an easily accessible platform for delivering smoking cessation treatment among Chinese immigrant populations. Research is warranted to explore the feasibility and efficacy of employing WeChat in smoking cessation treatment.

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
The authors have completed and submitted the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest and none was reported.
FUNDING
This study was supported by the New York University Center for the Study of Asian American Health under the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) of the National Institutes of Health (U54MD000538-15). NIMHD played no role in study design, data collection and analysis, manuscript writing, or the decision to submit the paper for publication.
PROVENANCE AND PEER REVIEW
Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
 
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