UBC Faculty Research and Publications

A qualitative study of Chinese Canadian fathers’ smoking behaviors: intersecting cultures and masculinities Mao, Aimei; Bottorff, Joan L; Oliffe, John Lindsay; Sarbit, Gayl; Kelly, Mary T


Background: China is home to the largest number of smokers in the world; more than half of the male population smoke. Given the high rates of Chinese immigration to Canada and the USA, researchers have explored the effect of immigration on Chinese smokers. Reduced tobacco use among Chinese immigrants has been reported in the United States; however, little is known about the social factors underlying men’s smoking practices in settings where tobacco control measures have denormalized smoking, and in the context of fatherhood. The purpose of this Canada-based study was to explore the smoking-related experiences of immigrant Chinese fathers. Methods In this qualitative study, semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with 22 Chinese Canadian fathers who smoked or had recently quit smoking, and had at least one child under the age of five years old. Results The Chinese fathers had dramatically changed their smoking patterns due to concern for their children’s health and social norms and restrictions related to smoking in Canada. The facilitators and barriers for men’s smoking were intertwined with idealized masculine provider and protector roles, and diverse Canadian Chinese cultural norms related to tobacco use. Conclusions The findings have implications for the development of future smoking cessation interventions targeting Chinese Canadian immigrant smokers as well as smokers in China.

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