Introduction: Asian Americans suffer high rates of smoking and tobacco-related deaths, varying by ethnic group. Trends of cigarette and alternative tobacco product use among Asian Americans, specifically considering ethnic group, sex, and nativity, are infrequently reported. Methods: Using National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) data from 2006–2018 and the 2016–2018 alternative tobacco supplement (e-cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, pipes), we explored cigarette and alternative tobacco product use by Asian ethnic group (Asian Indian (n = 4373), Chinese (n = 4736), Filipino (n = 4912)) in comparison to non-Hispanic Whites (NHWs (n = 275,025)), adjusting for socioeconomic and demographic factors. Results: Among 289,046 adults, 12% of Filipinos were current smokers, twice the prevalence in Asian Indians and Chinese (p < 0.001). The male–female gender difference was fivefold for Chinese (10.3% vs. 2.2%; p < 0.001), eightfold for Asian Indians (8.7% vs. 1.1%; p < 0.001), and twofold for Filipinos (16.8% vs. 9.0%). Moreover, 16.3% of US-born and 10.3% of foreign-born Filipinos were current smokers. Odds of ever using e-cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, and pipes in comparison to NHWs were lowest for Chinese (ORs 0.6, 0.5, 0.2, and 0.5). Discussion: Filipinos had the highest current smoking rates of Asian ethnic groups. Though more Asian men were current smokers, the high rate of current smoking among Filipinas is concerning. More US-born Filipinos were current smokers than foreign-born, despite rates typically decreasing for US-born Asians. Investigating cultural factors contributing to less frequent use of tobacco products, such as alternative tobacco products among Chinese, may aid campaigns in curbing tobacco usage.
- Asian American
- National Health Interview Survey
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Sociology and Political Science
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health