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Examining Tobacco Use in Hispanic Americans
Principal Investigator
Lisa Sanderson Cox, PhD

Funded October 2002 through the Special Populations Network developmental research projects, the primary aims of the pilot study are to (1) evaluate smoking behavior, smokers' interest in stopping smoking, and interest in participating in clinic-based treatment among Hispanic adults utilizing a free, primary care health clinic in the greater Washington, DC metropolitan area; and (2) examine the relationship between psychosocial factors (e.g., depression, acculturation) and smoking status. Among current smokers, we are exploring the relationship between these psychosocial factors and interest in stopping smoking.

The interviews include questions about personal smoking history, family smoking history, and demographic questions. The survey uses validated items from the PRIME-MD instrument to assess for depression and items from the Fagerstr–m test for nicotine dependence. Questions for smokers about how many cessation attempts they have made, the methods they used, as well as resources they feel might be the most useful in helping them quit in the future are included in the survey.

A one-month general assessment of smoking prevalence was begun on January 2003. In addition, one-age surveys are being conducted asking providers in the Spanish Catholic Center clinics about their current practices in assessing patients for tobacco use and what resources they percept would be most useful in helping their patients quit smoking. Detailed smoking interviews with 100 smokers followed by 100 age- and gender-matched non-smokers are now conducted.

Findings from this study will lay the foundation for future R01-level research dedicated to tobacco use treatment within this underserved Latino community with the goal of reducing tobacco use and consequently reducing cancer risk. Gathering data on psychosocial factors related to tobacco use, interest in treatment, and recruitment potential for cessation trials will be necessary in order to design and tailor future intervention efforts. The pilot study will also allow us to determine the feasibility of conducting nicotine dependence interventions using the Spanish Catholic Center Clinics as a doorway into this unique community.

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