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Non‐smoker assertive behaviour against smoke exposure: Chinese and Korean American non‐smokers

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Introduction and aims

Non-smokers' assertive behaviour towards smokers by asking them not to smoke is important in promoting smoke-free environments. Korean and Chinese Americans come from countries where most women are non-smokers and assertive behaviour may not be prevalent but may increase after migration because of social-ecological factors. This study assessed the extent to which Korean and Chinese American non-smokers ask someone not to smoke and associated factors.

Design and methods

The 2003 California Chinese American and Korean American Tobacco Use Surveys were analysed. Multivariate logistic regression analyses examined factors related to non-smoker self-reports that they asked someone not to smoke within the past year.


About 40% reported past-year assertive behaviour against smoking, with higher rates among Koreans than Chinese (60.4% vs. 34.5%), those living with smokers (63.5%), ever exposed with a smoke-free home rule (62.3%), recently exposed at work without a smoke-free work policy (67.6%) and regularly exposed at other locations (52.3%). In combined multivariate analyses of both ethnic groups, assertive behaviour was associated with individual factors (single vs. married; tobacco exposure knowledge), family factors (living with smokers, exposed at home despite a smoke-free rule), community factors (exposed at work with no smoke-free policy, exposed at other locations) and cultural factors (Korean vs. Chinese ethnicity; lower acculturation).

Discussion and conclusions

Chinese and Korean American non-smokers report assertive behaviour against smoking, which is associated with social-ecological factors. Results help identify target groups and strategies for future intervention, including the need to implement or enforce smoke-free environments and promote empowerment. [Saw A, Tang H, Tsoh JY, Chen MS Jr, Tong EK. Non-smoker assertive behaviour against smoke exposure: Chinese and Korean American non-smokers.

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