I have been to New York a couple of times and I was too focused on the face paced environment that it had not occurred to me how many cities like New York that are populated with many Asian Americans still have many smokers on the streets. Many smokers in New York are primarily Asian men. One of the smokers, Mr. Vu who smokes a pack of Dunhill cigarette a day said, “It’s not good for me, but I can’t stop.” The city’s health department began to take action to control the smoking rates.
The department introduced campaign ads to distribute nicotine patches and gum, and offering Chinese speakers for those who call 311 to enroll in the program. The Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention and Tobacco Control said that they have to carefully interpret the data of who is still smoking in New York in order to bring attention to the groups of smokers.
According to the World Health Organization, almost 7- percent of men in China and South Korea smoke and a little below 10 percent for women. These numbers are significantly lower for Asian men and women in New York City, however, the smoke rate did not show a significant drop from 2002 to 2010 compare to other groups.
An interesting finding by researchers is that smoking among Asian American girls seems to be rising as they seek to fit in to their peer groups who think smoking is hip. These studies should alarm us to ponder if the prevalence of smoking is occurring in other cities that are populated with many Asian Americans and think of ways to focus on how to lower the smoking rates of Asian Americans.