According to the Year 2000 census in the Peoples Republic of China, there were approximately 121 million rural-to-urban migrants in China. It is estimated that the migrant population in China will grow at the rate of 5 million per year over the next 5-10 years. Discrimination, rapid mobility, instability of living and employment conditions, and increased influence of urban lifestyles are all factors that likely contribute to increased vulnerability to risk behaviors. One of these behaviors is the initiation of smoking among women. Little research on this vulnerable group has been done (since only 4.6% of women were current smokers in 1996), yet this group has been targeted by the tobacco industry for market expansion, segmentation, and brand development. We have previously conducted tobacco industry document research outlining targeting activity by the multinational tobacco industry, focus groups among young women to identify research themes, and a large sample survey of school-based women ages 18-24 years. In addition, we completed a pilot study of hotel, restaurant, and entertainment working women to test our survey and access opportunities to this subpopulation. We propose to conduct a behavioral survey among rural-urban migrant women working in the hotel, restaurant, and entertainment industries to assess susceptibility to smoking initiation;recognition of direct and indirect advertising directed towards women;and knowledge about, attitudes toward, and behavior regarding tobacco use in China. We also propose to use a novel data collection and management method (a Handheld Assisted Personal Interview system [HAPI]) for this behavior research in order to help develop research capacity within the Peking Union Medical College and Chinese Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The results of this research will be of use to the Chinese CDC in planning interventions specific to the vulnerable population of young Chinese rural-urban migrant women.
This project will conduct a behavioral survey of young Chinese women who migrant for work from rural to urban areas. They are particularly vulnerable to behavioral risks, including smoking initiation. We will use handheld pocket computers to collect data from women in health examination stations and work venues in 10 urban areas. This will permit intervention planning for prevention of smoking initiation among young Chinese women.
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