MINNEAPOLIS — Project MINT (Minority Initiative for “No Tobacco”) led by the Multi-Cultural Community Network (MCCN) coalition and Asian Media Access, held a Tobacco Cessation Training on Oct. 5, 2012, at the North Regional Library.
Laura Hamasaka from Legacy and Dr. Alison Shigaki from Seattle were both invited to lead the one day tobacco cessation training. The event served to educate Asian American Advocates on the importance of conducting culturally competent Tobacco cessations towards Asian American Communities.
At the beginning of the training, Laura Hamasaka presented her presentation on “Tobacco 101 and Asian Community”. This presentation resonates to Asian American communities because this presentation explains how tobacco impacts Asian Americans and why national and state data on Asian American tobacco prevalence is not representative; calling for a push to develop an Asian quit line for underrepresented Asian American smokers.
The first National Asian Quit line was launched on Oct. 3, 2012, by Dr. Shu-Hong Zhu from the University of California, San Diego. In Minnesota, the National Asian Quit Line is now available for all Asian Smokers and its immediate family to take advantage of this great opportunity. This Asian Quit line can now do intakes for Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese speakers; and provide free NRT to support individuals who are interested in quitting through MN Clearway and the Asian Quit line.
Following Laura’s training was Dr. Alison Shigaki’s presentation on “Culturally Competent Cessation”. This presentation elaborated and focused on the steps to developing a culturally competent cessation curriculum for Asian communities. By assessing the community’s stages of readiness, tailoring to the community’s cultural differences and community needs, Asian communities will more likely use Asian Quit line services.
Lastly, Laura finished off the training by presenting Legacy’s training called the “Brief Tobacco Intervention: The five A’s” presentation on motivational interviewing”. Even though this training was an introduction session to motivational interviewing, it was a skill that the Asian community lacked in trying to motivate community members to quit smoking. Therefore, this presentation was able to provide participating partners a valuable tool to motivate their community members to start conversations about quitting.
Overall, both Laura and Dr. Alison Shigaki were very successful in training Asian American advocates on how to conduct a culturally competent tobacco cessation curriculum and to understand how Asian American smokers are underrepresented through National and State aggregated health data.
Following the Training, Project MINT plans to promote the following for 2013:
• Promote Smoke-Free Homes, Smoke free and or Tobacco Free Funding Policies within work places and community organizations.
• Promote a Bi-Cultural Healthy Lifestyle and Tobacco Free Youths within Schools.
• Promote the National Asian Quit line to Asian Minnesotans.