Asian Smokers' Quitline to Provide Nationwide Cessation Services
SAN DIEGO, Oct. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Asian Smokers' Quitline (www.asiansmokersquitline.org), operated by the University of California, San Diego, is now offering free nationwide telephone assistance for Chinese-, Korean-, and Vietnamese-speakers who want to quit smoking, including a two-week starter kit of nicotine patches. The patches are an FDA-approved treatment proven to help smokers quit.
The Asian Smokers' Quitline is the first nationwide cessation service especially for Asian language speakers. It is an extension of the California Smokers' Helpline, which has been helping smokers quit since 1992, when it became the nation's first statewide quitline. All 50 states now offer similar English-language services, but few have the capacity to provide Asian-language services.
Services provided by the Asian Smokers' Quitline were tested for efficacy in a study with over 2,200 Asian language speakers. Participants were randomly assigned to receive self-help materials alone or the materials plus telephone support. Shu-Hong Zhu, Ph.D., principal investigator for the study, said, "Overall, telephone support doubled participants' odds of quitting. Each subgroup--Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese--did significantly better because of it."
One-time funding for the new nationwide service is provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "Reducing tobacco use is a winnable battle," said Tim McAfee, M.D., MPH, director of the CDC's Office on Smoking and Health. "We know that telephone quit assistance is an effective cessation tool. Offering it in Asian languages will help change norms and reduce tobacco related death and disease in our Asian communities."
"We applaud CDC and the Asian Smokers' Quitline for providing cessation assistance tailored to Asian-language speakers," said Rod Lew, executive director of Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment, Advocacy and Leadership (APPEAL). "Many Asian immigrants want to quit but can't access resources offered in English." He added, "We also hope the offer of free nicotine patches will spur more people to give quitting a try."
The Asian Smokers' Quitline works with community-based organizations serving Asian communities in the U.S. to promote tobacco-free living. It also encourages health care providers to refer their Asian-language speaking patients to this free and effective cessation service.
For more information or to sign up for this program, visit www.asiansmokersquitline.org or call Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Pacific Time:
1-800-838-8917 Mandarin and Cantonese
For more information, contact:
Joann Lee, DrPH
SOURCE California Smokers' Helpline