While we’ve made great strides in reducing the overall smoking rate in New York City, smoking remains a big problem in Asian communities. A New York Times article pointed out that tobacco smoking is still a “way of life” in the heart of the City’s Asian communities.
A study published in Health Promotion Practice showed that high smoking rates in New York City’s Asian communities have persisted since 2012, especially among men. Smoking rates were particularly high (40.1%) among Chinese men living in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn.
To address this disparity, our Brooklyn team and their community partner, the Chinese American Planning Council–the Brooklyn Branch (CPC-Brooklyn) designed a public service ad campaign targeting Chinese (Mandarin)-speaking men to advocate for smoke-free housing in a culturally relevant and pertinent way. We’re pleased to announce that the campaign will run in issues of Epoch Times, Sing Tao, and World Journal this week.
According to the CPC-Brooklyn, a child’s future is the foremost priority for many Chinese parents. Therefore, in the campaign, we contrast two Chinese homes, each with different futures for the child.
The text above the two drawings roughly translates as: “Your hand as a parent is very important. You can guide your child into drawing out a beautiful future or onto a path of disease. Your choice determines your child’s destiny.” In the first drawing, future and destiny are linked to cultural tradition and the past by the teaching of calligraphy. Chinese characters contain a cultural memory and a huge amount of historical wealth. By comparison, the father who smokes in his home and does not teach calligraphy is breaking tradition and jeopardizing his son’s future and health.
The text under the drawings roughly translates as: “For children between two months and two years of age, exposure to secondhand smoke was found to be responsible for 40-60 percent of the cases of asthma. Smoking by parents causes respiratory symptoms and slows lung growth in their children. Your child’s health starts with you and a smoke-free home. For more information visit www.NYCSmokeFree.org/housing or call 1-800-838-8917 for help on how to quit.” The phone number is for the Asian Smokers Quitline which is staffed by cessation counselors who speak Mandarin and Cantonese.
Thanks to Eunice Huang, Lenny Chen and Wai Yee Chan of the CPC-Brooklyn for your support and expertise.
We hope this ad will encourage Chinese-speaking parents to quit smoking and help them understand the danger of secondhand smoke exposure in their home.