GRETNA, LA, March 16 – More than one in four Vietnamese Americans are unaware of the dangers of smoking, a fact which underscores the importance of the selection of the New Orleans branch of the national nonprofit Boat People SOS as one of the founding members of the 100 Pioneers for Smoking Cessation Virtual Leadership Academy.
“We’re excited to be partnering with this project of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA)’s new Tobacco-Free Campaign,” said Tony Tran, branch manager. “We know there’s a need in the Vietnamese-American community to meet SAMHSA’s goal, which is to help people with mental and substance use disorders quit smoking.”
Research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that tobacco use among Southeast Asian men takes place at a rate of 34 to 43 percent, while the rate is only 27 percent in Caucasian males. Education appears be a critical factor. One study shows that one in five Vietnamese Americans does not know that smoking causes heart disease, bronchitis, emphysema, and mouth cancer. Slightly more than one in four Vietnamese-American adults does not know that smoking can cause cancer.
“We’re grateful to SAMHSA for the $1,000 honorarium attached to our selection,” said Tran. “We know we can use it to reach out to and educate many people with behavioral health issues, who smoke at alarmingly high rates, with terrible consequences.”
“We’re pleased to be working with BPSOS-New Orleans to cut back on the damage smoking does to the Vietnamese-American community,” said Steven A. Schroeder, MD, the director of the Smoking Cessation Leadership Center (SCLC). For more information about the SCLC, please click here.
The goals of the SAMHSA Tobacco-Free Campaign are as follows:
– Provide training and technical assistance to SAMHSA grantees to raise awareness of the many benefits smoking cessation efforts and to increase understanding of effective smoking cessation strategies.
– Implement or enhance existing tobacco cessation services using evidence-based practices.
– Ensure that consumers and staff have access to smoking cessation services and supports to promote health and wellness.
– Establish partnerships between behavioral health and nicotine cessation organizations to increase available tobacco cessation resources in communities.