Did You Know? Innovation in Technology-Based Assessments of Tobacco Use Among Pacific Islanders

unnamedRecent prevalence data indicates that Pacific Islanders living in the United States have disproportionately high smoking rates when compared to the general populace. However, little is known about the factors contributing to tobacco use in this at-risk population. In order to address this issue, a customized Internet-based Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) system capable of measuring cigarette use among Pacific Islanders in Southern California was developed. A feasibility study assessed whether Pacific Islanders would respond to this method of measurement and whether the data gathered would lead to novel insights regarding the intrapersonal, social, and ecological factors associated with cigarette use. The feasibility study included 20 young adult smokers in Southern California who self-identified as Pacific Islanders and agreed to take part in a 7-day EMA study.  Using this approach, 720 surveys were completed from 840 survey time blocks, representing a completion rate of 86%. After adjusting for gender, age, and nicotine dependence, feeling happy or wanting a cigarette while drinking alcohol was positively associated with cigarette use. Being at home or being around people who are not smoking was negatively associated with cigarette use. The researchers concluded that such customized systems can be used to conduct technology-based assessments of tobacco use among Pacific Islanders.
Source: Pike et al. (2016). Developing an Internet- and Mobile-Based System to Measure
Cigarette Use Among Pacific Islanders: An Ecological Momentary
Assessment Study. JMIR mHealth and uHealth, 4(1),e2.

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