Perspectives of Chinese American smoker and nonsmoker household pairs about the creating smokefree living together program

Anne Saw, Debora A. Paterniti, Lei Chun Fung, Janice Y Tsoh, Elisa K. Tong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Chinese men smoke at high rates, and this puts household members at risk for tobacco-related diseases. Culturally responsive interventions that provide education and support are needed to promote smokefree living and reduce smoke exposure, particularly for US immigrants who experience changes in smokefree social norms. This qualitative study examines perspectives of Chinese American smoker and nonsmoker household pairs in the Creating Smokefree Living Together program. METHODS: Four focus groups were conducted with 30 Chinese American participants (15 smokers and 15 nonsmokers) who, in household pairs, completed smokefree education interventions of either brief or moderate intensity. Nearly three-quarters of the smokers continued to smoke after the intervention at the time of focus group participation. All smokers were male, and most household nonsmokers were female spouses. All participants had limited English proficiency. Focus group meetings were recorded, and the recordings were translated and transcribed. Transcripts and field notes were thematically analyzed. RESULTS: The following themes, shared by smokers and nonsmokers across interventions, were identified: 1) there was a preference for dyadic and group interventions because of the support offered, 2) increased knowledge of the health harms of smoke exposure within a pair improved the nonsmoker's support for smokefree living, 3) learning communication strategies improved household relationships and assertiveness for smokefree environments, 4) biochemical feedback was useful but had short-term effects, and 5) project magnets provided cues to action. CONCLUSIONS: Involving household partners is critical to smokefree interventions. Simple reminders at home appear to be more powerful than personal biochemical feedback of smoke exposure for sustaining motivation and engagement in ongoing behavioral changes within the household. Cancer 2018;124:1599-606.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1599-1606
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018


  • Chinese
  • household
  • intervention
  • secondhand smoke
  • tobacco use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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