AANHPI Smoking Quit Kit

Smoking in the Plaza

Tobacco is the #1 preventable cause of disease, disability, and death among Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AANHPIs) and is associated with the top three killers of AANHPIs – heart disease, cancer, and stroke. Many AANHPI subgroups (Chinese, Filipino, Cambodian, Korean, Lao, Vietnamese, and others) face disproportionate rates of tobacco use and associated health impacts.

While Asian Americans as a whole have the lowest prevalence rate of tobacco use (9.6%) compared to whites (19.4%)1, it is often assumed that AAs and NHPIs may not experience as much of the burden of tobacco use that impacts the rest of the general population. However, the prevalence rate for AANHPIs does not take into account the differences in tobacco use that are unique to specific ethnicities within the AA and NHPI communities, which can have some of the highest smoking prevalences in the US. For example, smoking prevalence among certain ethnicities in California has been measured to be as high as 24.4% among Cambodian males,2 24.4% to 50.8% among Vietnamese males,3 and 27.9% in Korean males.4 Additionally, Korean American males in California had the highest smoking-attributable cancer burden of any of the AANHPI groups studied, with 71% of their cancer death rate linked to tobacco smoke exposure.5

It is estimated that cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths each year (or 1 in 5 deaths) among the general population in the US. In light of the high smoking prevalence in some AANHPI communities, smoking prevention and cessation efforts are critical in order to reduce the burden of death and disease. However, many AANHPI communities lack resources that are culturally tailored to address the health consequence of smoking and provide evidence-based strategies and resources for smoking cessation.

Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment, Advocacy, and Leadership (APPEAL) has two decades of experience in reaching out to AANHPI communities to provide culturally appropriate resources to community leaders and individuals aimed at fighting the devastating impacts of tobacco. APPEAL, in partnership with the RAISE Network, has compiled this list of powerful tobacco cessation resources to help build healthier communities.

Resources specifically for AANHPIs

The Asian Smokers’ Quitline is a free nationwide Asian-language smoking cessation service for individuals who speak Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean and Vietnamese languages. Callers can speak with a bilingual/bicultural counselor to receive:


  • Help with quitting smoking
  • Informational materials
  • Referrals to other resources
  • Free two-week starter kit of nicotine patches
  • The Asian Smokers’ Quitline is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. Pacific Time
  • Chinese (Cantonese or Mandarin): 1-800-838-8917
  • Korean: 1-800-556-5564
  • Vietnamese: 1-800-778-8440

ASQ also has brochures in Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese (available below for direct download), as well as in-language posters and other resources for those working to make their communities tobacco-free.
For more information about the Asian Smokers’ Quitline, please visit: www.asiansmokersquitline.org.

ASQ_Top10_2014 Get a jump start on your quit with ASQ’s Top 10 Tips to Quit Smoking. (Click to download)

General Quit Resources

APPEAL’s partner Legacy Foundation provides an online quit resource, as well as a clear process to guide those who’d like to quit.

The foundation recommends the following “Learn to Quit” smoking tips and guidelines:
     Choose to quit. Becoming an ex-smoker is a powerful act. Smokers should commit to quitting by setting a quit date and clearly identifying their reasons for quitting.
     Create a plan. Give yourself at least five days to “get ready” to quit. Your plan should include:
     Medication: Talk to your doctor about medications that can help you deal with cravings and dramatically boost your chances of quitting successfully. Safe and effective medications – like the patch, lozenges or gum – are available by prescription and over the counter. (Pregnant smokers and those under 18 should consult a doctor before using any medications).
     Professional counseling: Find a professional who can help you know what to expect and how to handle tough situations when quitting. Utilize smoking cessation clinics and group support meetings in your community, or take advantage of telephone counseling. You can call 1-800-QUITNOW for free counseling anywhere in the country. If you live in Washington, DC or Maryland, you also can call the Legacy Learn to Quit Line 1-888-399-5589, to speak with professional counselors who can guide you through the quitting process.
     Social support: Tell your family, friends and co-workers about your plan to quit so they can help you through the stressful times. When socializing or going out, ask them to spend time with you in smoke-free environments.
     Keep Trying. Quitting isn’t easy, so if at first you don’t succeed, try again. Former smokers report trying to quit many times before finally quitting. But by using all of these tools – medication, counseling and support – you can improve your chances of quitting successfully.

The American Lung Association provides an online quit portal and a free brochure (available here for direct download) titled, “Freedom From Smoking.” The portal and brochure outline quit strategies and provide access to both an online quit tool, as well as a telephone-based quit tool, 1-800-586-4872.

The University of California at San Francisco provides both an online quit tool, as well as a “real-world” treatment program though its Fontanna campus.



Jamal, A., Agaku, I.T., O’Connor, E., King, B.A., Kenemer, J.B., & Neff, L. (2014). Current cigarette smoking among adults — United States, 2005-2013. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly, 63(47), 1108-12.
Friis, R.H. (2012). Socioepidemiology of cigarette smoking among Cambodian Americans in Long Beach, California. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 14, 272-80.
Tong, E.K., Gildengorin, G., Nguyen, T., Tsoh, J., Modayil, M., Wong, C., & McPhee, S. (2010). Smoking prevalence and factors associated with smoking status among Vietnamese in California. Nicotine and Tobacco Research, 12, 613-21.
Carr, K., Beers, M., Kassebaum, T., & Chen, M.S., Jr. (2005). California Korean American Tobacco Use Survey, 2004. California Department of Health Services: Sacramento, California.
Leistikow, B.N., Chen, M., & Tsodikov, A. (2006). Tobacco smoke overload and ethnic, state, gender, and temporal cancer mortality disparities in Asian-Americans and Pacific Islander-Americans. Preventive Medicine, 42(6), 430-4.