Journal of Community Health

, Volume 42, Issue 3, pp 431–436 | Cite as

Development of Culturally Appropriate Support Strategies to Increase Uptake of Nicotine Replacement Therapy Among Russian- and Chinese-Speaking Smokers in New York City

  • Erin C. Quinn
  • Rachel Sacks
  • Shannon M. Farley
  • Sayone Thihalolipavan
Original Paper


Approximately 80,000 New York City smokers are Chinese or Russian speakers. To increase utilization of smoking cessation services among these populations, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene developed linguistically and culturally tailored outreach strategies to promote and enhance its annual Nicotine Patch and Gum Program. In 2010, online web applications in Chinese and Russian were introduced. In 2011, input was sought from the community to develop Russian-language radio and newspaper ads, and a Russian-speaking liaison provided phone-assisted online enrollment support. In 2012, Chinese newspaper ads were introduced, and a Cantonese- and Mandarin-speaking liaison was hired to provide enrollment support. In 2010, 51 Russian speakers and 40 Chinese speakers enrolled in the program via web application. In 2011, 510 Russian speakers applied via the web application, with 463 assisted by the Russian-speaking liaison; forty-four Chinese speakers applied online. In 2012, 394 Russian speakers applied via the web application; 363 were assisted by the Russian-speaking liaison. Eighty-five Chinese smokers applied online via the web application; seventy were assisted by the Chinese-speaking liaison. Following the implementation of culturally tailored cessation support interventions, ethnic Russian smokers’ uptake of cessation support increased tenfold, while Chinese smokers’ uptake doubled. Although linguistically appropriate resources are an essential foundation for reaching immigrant communities with high smoking rates, devising culturally tailored strategies to increase quit rates is critical to programmatic success.


Tobacco Smoking cessation Ethnicity Immigrants Culturally competent care Program evaluation 



The authors thank Dr. Shadi Chamany for her contribution to the development of this manuscript.


This project was supported in part by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and by cooperative agreement #3U58DP002419-01S1 from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—Communities Putting Prevention to Work. The findings and conclusions in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erin C. Quinn
    • 1
  • Rachel Sacks
    • 1
  • Shannon M. Farley
    • 1
  • Sayone Thihalolipavan
    • 2
  1. 1.New York City Department of Health & Mental HygieneBureau of Chronic Disease Prevention & Tobacco ControlQueensUSA
  2. 2.Deputy Public Health Officer, Health ServicesCounty of San Diego-Health and Human Services AgencySan DiegoUSA

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