a1 Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, Florida, USA
a2 Department of Psychology, University of Miami, Miami, Florida, USA
a3 INSERM Research Center U-897 Epidemiology and Biostatistics Research Team on Injury Prevention and Control, Bordeaux, France
a4 Disparities and Community Outreach Core, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Miami, Miami, Florida, USA
a5 Florida International University, Biscayne Bay Campus, Miami, Florida, USA
Background: While smoking rates in the United States have decreased, some population subgroups have smoking rates that exceed national and state averages. These higher rates often are associated with higher incidence rates of tobacco-associated cancers. Over time, a decrease in smoking rates leads to lower cancer incidence. Methods: Using spatial modelling techniques, we identified an underserved geographic locale in South Florida with higher than expected incidence rates of tobacco-associated cancers. We then used a community-based participatory research (CBPR) design to conduct focus groups in 2011 to elicit information about the acceptability of a smoking cessation intervention delivered by trained former smokers from within peer networks. Results: A variety of smoking cessation strategies was presented and discussed in separate, gender-stratified focus groups comprised of former and current smokers (n = 39). Focus group findings consistently indicated that support groups were the preferred cessation mechanism in this community. Based on this finding, we changed our initially proposed cessation approach to one which employed support groups as a quit method. Conclusions: Currently, we are collecting pilot data to test this intervention and to reach smokers who might not otherwise be directly targeted with cessation messaging from larger tobacco control initiatives. If successful, this strategy can be adapted to effect other important changes in health behaviours in at-risk populations.
c1 Address for correspondence: Noella A. Dietz, Ph.D., Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, University of Miami School of Medicine, 1120 NW 14th Street, 15th Floor, C202, Miami, FL 33136, USA. Email: email@example.com