The Healthy Family Project: A Family-Based Intervention to Promote Smoking Cessation among Asian American Smokers


  1. Janice Tsoh, PhD
Research Fields: 
Addiction and Cessation
Special Populations

Smoking prevalence remains disproportionately high in some groups, particularly among Asian males with limited English proficiency. Dr. Tsoh and her research team are conducting several community-based projects to promote smoking cessation among Asian American smokers.  The team has developed a family-based lay health worker outreach intervention “The Healthy Family Project: Quit Smoking for a Healthy Family.” The intervention integrates research findings and multiple health behavior theories. It utilizes lay health worker (LHW) outreach to involve a daily smoker and a non-smoking family member (forming smoker-family pairs) to promote smoking cessation.  LHWs are non-health professionals, they are peers who share the same cultural and language background with the targeted community members.  The intervention involves 2 small group education sessions with smoker-family dyads and 2 follow-up individual telephone calls delivered by LHWs over 6-8 months.  Our first pilot study with 96 smoker-family Chinese and Vietnamese pairs showed a high feasibility of recruiting smokers who were unmotivated to quit smoking (42%) with high quit rate verified by family members at 3-month (24.1%).  Our recently completed randomized controlled trial (RCT) with 107 Vietnamese smoker-family pairs has shown that the intervention was effective in yielding 33.3% quit rate verified by both family’s report plus biomarker in saliva.  We are conducting a third trial, a NIDA R01 RCT targeting > 300 dyads of Chinese and Vietnamese smokers and their family members with long-term follow-up at 12 months.  With funding support from the California Breast Cancer Research Program (CBCRP) and the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP), the intervention is being tested in Korean American communities with an expanded focus on elimination of secondhand smoke exposure in addition to smoking cessation.  The research team collaborates closely with community-based organizations with long history of serving Asian American communities in Northern California.   The overall mission of the research is to identify and understand effective ways to utilize family-based and social outreach strategies to reduce tobacco use disparities in hard-to-reach populations.