Project Name: Community Action on Smoking and Health
Project Overview: Tobacco use is considered the number one cause of preventable death and disease. While the prevalence of smoking has decreased dramatically in New York City, from 21.5% in 2002 to 14.8 % in 2011, during that same period the rate of smoking among Asian American men increased markedly and by 2015, was a staggering 25.4%. In addition, lung cancer deaths among Chinese New Yorkers increased 70% from 2000-2014. Meanwhile, the citywide quit-attempt rate is lower for Asians than for all other ethnic groups. These significant disparities reflect the widespread acceptance of smoking in the community, social and economic stressors that are associated with smoking and the lack of targeted educational and cessation resources. Working in collaboration with several community and academic partners, the health center focused on reducing smoking in the city’s Chinese communities in Lower Manhattan and in Flushing, Queens.
The goal of the Community Action on Smoking and Health project was to improve the health of the community by reducing smoking and managing attendant risk.
Project Objectives were to:
- Increase awareness in the community about the direct and second-hand risks of smoking;
- Provide access to culturally and linguistically appropriate smoking cessation services;
- Through Chinese-language social marketing and community engagement, challenge cultural norms that encourage smoking; and
- Strengthen the evidence base on the value of enabling services and education in encouraging healthy behaviors and improving outcomes.
- 2015-2016 Key Grant Activities
Multiple innovative strategies and approaches were undertaken to advance the goals of the project. The health center:
- Developed a bi-lingual survey to assess knowledge about the health risks of smoking and second-hand smoke, assess cultural acceptance of smoking, and understand barriers to smoking cessation and used survey findings to inform project strategies.
- Developed and implemented a bi-lingual smoking cessation coaching program;
- Utilized a health coach to provide smoking cessation counseling and personalized follow-up to support changes in smoking behaviors;
- Piloted a free Nicotine Replacement Therapy distribution program for uninsured participants;
- Developed comprehensive communication strategies to deliver key anti-smoking messages through print, television, radio and digital media platforms;
- Produced a short, bilingual documentary-style video on the health risks of smoking and second-hand smoke and the challenges and benefits of quitting;
- Trained and encouraged private practice physicians to adopt tobacco screening, counseling, and referral protocols; and
- Established multi-sector partnerships to deliver key messages and services.
- 2015-2016 Key Project Outcomes
- More than 180 individuals received personalized smoking cessation counseling and services, resulting in 97 people (54%) reducing or stopping smoking and 77 (43%) stopping for at least seven days.
- Through the use of print, broadcast and social media outlets, education about the health risks associated with smoking was made available to a large audience beyond the health center’s targeted community in New York City.
- Over thirty members of the health center’s staff were trained on smoking cessation counseling, resources and referral protocols, and two received Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist training.
- CBWCHC and partners promoted the project to nearly 70 physicians at the Chinese American Medical Society (CAMS) annual scientific meeting in November 2015, and hosted cessation training for CAMS and Coalition of Asian American Independent Practice Association (CAIPA) members in fall 2016. Three educational sessions on cessation counseling were provided for health care professionals in the neighboring community.
- In conjunction with collaborating partners, the health center launched the inaugural North American Chinatown Smoke-Free Day on September 26, 2016, with the goal of raising awareness of smoking risks, providing community education, and offering support to physicians to engage in smoking cessation activities. The multi-city program included simultaneous events in NYC, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, and Toronto.
- 2016-2017 Key Grant Activities
- Extended the health coaching program to CBWCHC’s Flushing site;
- Continued outreach to engage private practice physicians in adopting tobacco screening, smoking cessation counseling, and referral protocols;
- Engaged managed care plans in smoking cessation services for Asian American smokers;
- Disseminated best practices and lessons learned to local and national colleagues, including presentations at the NACHC CHI; and
- Continued social marketing campaign to deliver key anti-smoking messages and promote cessation services.
2016-2017 Key Project Outcomes:
- As a direct result of CBWCHC’s strong advocacy and leadership, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYCDOHMH) agreed to commit resources to a culturally relevant and language-accessible smoking campaign to reduce smoking in the Asian American community. In addition, the health center garnered the support of the New York City Council to address smoking disparities in Asian immigrant communities.
- Individual smoking cessation counseling services were provided to 310 patients. Of these, two-thirds, or 206 people, stopped smoking or reduced the number of cigarettes smoked per day, including 18 who quit for six months, and 11 who quit for one full year.
- CBWCHC conducted 15 educational sessions for community-based physicians and staff in a range of primary care and specialty practices to promote the Asian Smoker’s Quit line and facilitate referrals to the center’s health coach program.
- In conjunction with collaborating partners in Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, and Toronto, CBWCHC held the Second Annual North American Chinatown Smoke-Free Day on September 25, 2017. Events aimed at reducing cigarette smoking in Asian American communities were held simultaneously across North America and offered free health screenings and information and resources to quit smoking.
Project partners: New York University Langone Medical Center (NYULMC NYC Treats Tobacco Center and Department of Population Health Division of Health and Behavior), Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE), Chinese American Medical Society (CAMS), New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Coalition of Asian American Independent Practice Association (CAIPA), Federation of Chinese American and Chinese Canadian Medical Societies (FCMS), and Asian Smokers’ Quitline.
About the Grantee:
The Charles B. Wang Community Health Center is a federally qualified health center whose mission is to provide high quality and affordable health care to the underserved, with a focus on Asian Americans. The health center operates in five locations in New York City and provides high quality, affordable and culturally effective primary care and support services to all patients regardless of their ability to pay.
Website at http://www.cbwchc.org/