Focus Groups, Interview, Koreans, Smoking



  1. Sin, Mo-Kyung PhD, RN
  2. Ro, KumHee DNP, RN


Abstract: Cigarette smoking is highly prevalent among Korean American men. Although the nationwide anti-smoking efforts and American individualism-oriented cultural system seem to help some Korean American men stop smoking, many of them still smoke. Thus, it is necessary to understand factors influencing decisions to continue smoking or stop smoking among older Korean American men. We recruited a convenience sample of 24 Korean American men (12 current smokers, 12 former smokers) who were aged 55-79 years to participate in this qualitative study. Five focus groups and nine individual interviews were conducted. Thematic content analysis was used to analyze the qualitative data. Participants were older (mean age = 69 years) and have lived in the United States an average of 26 years. Average duration of smoking was 41 years among current smokers and 31 years among former smokers. Key themes influencing continuous smoking include stress relief, fear of side effects, difficulty stopping, smoking peers, and misbeliefs about lung cancer and smoking, whereas key themes for decisions to stop smoking include present health issues, family/physician/media recommendation, and smoking-restricted environments. This study reinforces the importance of culturally and age-relevant smoking cessation programs targeting smokers and their families. Future quantitative studies in different geographic areas can validate the study findings.