A concerted public health effort since the 1960s has reduced the overall prevalence of cigarette smoking in the United States by approximately 50%, with some states like California having even greater reductions. While these efforts are laudable and have led to reductions in morbidity and mortality for many, the gains have not been equal. In Los Angeles County, where only 10.4% of residents smoke cigarettes, alarmingly high prevalence is observed in select sub-groups that have economic and racial/ethnic disparities. Among Korean-Americans in Los Angeles County, smoking prevalence reaches 40% with reduced but still high rates of smoking among youth. This research project builds upon the commitment of community agencies, students and activists, County policymakers and academics to tailor an evidence-based smoking cessation intervention for use with Korean youth and to develop programming to deliver the intervention using the web and mobile Smartphones. The first phase of this research project involves consultative activities and focus group procedures to adapt and to tailor a 6-week, cognitive behavioral-motivational enhancement (CBME) cessation intervention specifically for Korean-American youth. Using iterative procedures between community and student key informants and technology experts, the adapted intervention will be programmed to be delivered using the web. The second phase of this research project involves conduct of an adequately powered, randomized controlled trial of the experimental intervention delivered on the web (n=120) compared to standard of care (n=120) for Korean-American youth (aged 14-19) seeking smoking cessation. Primary outcome variable is 7-day point prevalence of smoking abstinence verified by biomarkers at end of treatment, 24- and 52-week follow-up visits. We expect to find between 2-3 times increase in smoking cessation rates for the experimental group over the control group, which represents an outstanding morbidity reduction. If effective, the intervention will also provide an effective program for adaptation to young smokers of other ethnicities/races.

Public Health Relevance

This research project is highly significant given the high rate of smoking prevalence in Korean youth and the benefits over the lifespan from stopping smoking. This is the first program in the nation to focus on using interactive web-based and mobile phone technologies and the first program to adapt these efforts specifically for Korean-Americans, a group with unacceptably high smoking prevalence rates.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Comprehensive Center (P60)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZMD1-RN (02))
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of California Los Angeles
Los Angeles
United States
Zip Code
Villatoro, Alice P; Dixon, Elizabeth; Mays, Vickie M (2016) Faith-based organizations and the Affordable Care Act: Reducing Latino mental health care disparities. Psychol Serv 13:92-104
Mays, Vickie M; Jones, Audrey L; Delany-Brumsey, Ayesha et al. (2016) Perceived Discrimination in Health Care and Mental Health/Substance Abuse Treatment Among Blacks, Latinos, and Whites. Med Care :
Cochran, Susan D; Björkenstam, Charlotte; Mays, Vickie M (2016) Sexual Orientation and All-Cause Mortality Among US Adults Aged 18 to 59 Years, 2001-2011. Am J Public Health 106:918-20
Cochran, Susan D; Mays, Vickie M (2015) Cochran and Mays Respond. Am J Public Health 105:e6
Cochran, Susan D; Mays, Vickie M (2015) Mortality risks among persons reporting same-sex sexual partners: evidence from the 2008 General Social Survey-National Death Index data set. Am J Public Health 105:358-64
Swanson, Jeffrey W; McGinty, E Elizabeth; Fazel, Seena et al. (2015) Mental illness and reduction of gun violence and suicide: bringing epidemiologic research to policy. Ann Epidemiol 25:366-76
Thorpe, Lorna E; Assari, Shervin; Deppen, Stephen et al. (2015) The role of epidemiology in disaster response policy development. Ann Epidemiol 25:377-86
Pachankis, John E; Cochran, Susan D; Mays, Vickie M (2015) The mental health of sexual minority adults in and out of the closet: A population-based study. J Consult Clin Psychol 83:890-901
Jones, Audrey L; Cochran, Susan D; Leibowitz, Arleen et al. (2015) Usual Primary Care Provider Characteristics of a Patient-Centered Medical Home and Mental Health Service Use. J Gen Intern Med 30:1828-36
Brownson, Ross C; Samet, Jonathan M; Chavez, Gilbert F et al. (2015) Charting a future for epidemiologic training. Ann Epidemiol 25:458-65

Showing the most recent 10 out of 20 publications