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,” a community-based research program to promote healthy living among Asian Americans by engaging both current smokers and their families together with their peers in promoting smoking cessation, healthy eating and physical activity. The intervention integrates multiple health behavior theories and findings from qualitative formative research. It utilizes lay health worker (LHW) outreach to involve a daily smoker and a family member (forming smoker-family pairs) to promote smoking cessation and healthy lifestyle changes. 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 weeks. Since 2012, with research support from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the California Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program and the California Breast Cancer Research Program (CBCRP), the Healthy Family Project has delivered interventions to > 550 smoker-family dyads (or >1,100 individuals) in Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese languages. The program completion rates across different trials are consistently > 95% and follow-up rates at 3 to 12 months are > 90%. 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.