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New Approaches Revealed To Assist Minority Groups with Quitting Smoking

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Telephone counseling services are successful among Korean and Vietnamese speaking smokers living in the United States, according to a recently released study.

Published in the current edition of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, results of the study have showed that Quitlines are a good method for quitting smoking, but have never been introduced to Asian immigrants who may have limited proficiency in English.

Dr. Shu-Hong Shu, a Professor in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, at the University of California San Diego, along with his colleagues, created an intervention to examine the success rate of quitline counseling for other Asian immigrant smokers.

About 2,200 adult smokers, in Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese speaking community in the U.S., were told to call in to the Asian-language helpline. All of the participants were first time callers.

Subject were then randomly assigned to receive either telephone counseling and self-help materials, or only self help material alone.

In a six month examining period, researchers noticed that those who received the telephone counseling had double the odds of quitting smoking, compared to those who only received the self-help materials.

“This study was designed to test a common counseling protocol for three diverse Asian immigrant groups,” said Dr. Zhu, in a statement. “Counseling proved effective in each case suggesting that the common protocol could be used with other Asian language groups.

Results from a separate but related study also published in the current issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, found that the antidepressant drug Bupropion is effective in helping people quit smoking, but for African Americans who are light smokers, the drug didn’t provide long term assistance for quitting.

According to the study, conducted by Medical University of South Carolina, Bupropion is most effective for smoke cessation in whites, and African American moderate to heavy smokers. It’s also more beneficial for smokers who smoke ten cigarettes per day or more.

After nearly a three year study, it was found that African Americans, age 18 or older, who smoked at least ten cigarettes per day benefited more from Buprpion more, compared to those who didn’t use it.

“These finding further support the need to identify effective treatment approaches for light smokers,” the authors write.

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