Elevated smoking rates among African American public housing residents are well documented. Despite the publication of these findings and those from meta-analyses of smoking cessation trials, the feasibility of conducting smoking cessation interventions with this population remains unknown. Most of the smoking cessation studies conducted with African American public housing residents have been cross sectional and have met with only modest success. They failed to show a significant impact on reducing smoking rates because they often ignored unique cultural norms and lacked cultural specificity, which play a vital role in determining the level of health of the individual and the community. For these reasons, the NIH has called for the development of new community-based smoking cessation studies that: 1) are implemented in settings other than health care facilities, 2) incorporate the social context (e.g., culture, neighborhoods, and social networks) to prevent or stop tobacco use, and 3) evaluate the approaches needed to reduce tobacco use in populations that are particularly vulnerable or where tobacco use has a disproportionately adverse effect, including racial and ethnic minorities (NIH, 2006). In line with these suggestions, I will conduct a qualitative assessment of the factors that influence smoking among African American smokers of public housing (Study 1), develop a smoking cessation intervention that is responsive to the public housing context and is socially and culturally appropriate (Study 2) and evaluate the feasibility of conducting this intervention in a pilot community trial (Study 3). Thus, I require interdisciplinary training in three areas: 1) conducting formative evaluations using qualitative methods, 2) developing socially and culturally appropriate behavioral interventions, and 3) implementing and evaluating community-based behavioral intervention trials. The study series should result in publication of peer-reviewed manuscripts and lead to the development of an R- mechanism application (e.g., R01).
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