In many of New York City’s Asian-American communities, smoking is still a way of life. In the last decade, Asian-American smoking rates in New York City have remained the same—particularly for Asian-American men—despite decreases in smoking rates in almost every other demographic. Why has this happened and what can we do?
Last week, at a forum hosted by the Chinese-American Planning Council—Brooklyn Branch and our Brooklyn team, a panel of public health experts, doctors and Asian-American community leaders discussed the challenges we face and some strategies we can use moving forward.
The panel noted these key factors that contribute to relatively high smoking rates in Asian-American communities:
- Smoking is often perceived as an acceptable social norm in many Asian cultures.
- Many Asian-American men smoke to reduce high levels of stress.
- Broad educational media campaigns and public health policies don’t always effectively reach Asian-Americans living in ethnic enclaves.
- Big Tobacco spends $1 million a day in New York State marketing their deadly product to consumers.
- Large retail chain pharmacies often sell cigarettes and prominently display tobacco marketing.
Stay tuned for some strategies that were discussed during our panel discussion. We welcome your ideas and suggestions.