ANTI-TOBACCO PROGRAMS: Ads to Target Vietnamese
A state-funded campaign to cut tobacco use among Vietnamese Americans will use "television and print ads featuring popular Vietnamese entertainers .. to rid smoking of its cultural cachet," the Los Angeles Times reports. Chris Jenkins, director of the Vietnamese Community Health Promotion Project, said entertainers "establish and reinforce social norms. They determine what's cool." Thirty-five percent of Vietnamese men smoke in California, which has the highest Vietnamese population in the U.S. The prevalence of the habit is a reflection of cultural traditions: In Vietnam, 73% of men smoke, the highest such proportion in the world, and smokers "spend more for cigarettes than education or health care." Mai Chong, CEO and president of the Vietnamese Community of Orange County, said, "For the Asian community in general, and specifically for Vietnamese adults, smoking is a way of life." The ads, produced by researchers at the University of California-San Francisco, "feature singer and rap artist Henry Chuc; Dalena, an American singer who performs in Vietnamese; radio announcer and singer Viet Dzung; and singer Duc Huy and his wife, Thao My." They will appear on Vietnamese-language radio stations, television channels and newspapers in the San Francisco Bay area, Los Angeles and Orange County, through 2001 (Tran, 6/10).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.