Barriers and Facilitators to Smoking Cessation among Latino Adults

Olivia D. Carter-Pokras, Robert H. Feldman, Mariano Kanamori, Ivonne Rivera, Lu Chen, Lourdes Baezconde-Garbanati, Jesse Nodora, Jeannette Noltenius

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Background: Previous studies have found that Latinos who smoke are less likely than non-Latino white smokers to use pharmaceutical aids such as nicotine replacement therapies or to receive physician advice to stop smoking. This qualitative study further explored barriers and facilitators to smoking cessation among Latino adults in Maryland. Methods: Five Spanish-language focus groups were conducted in September 2008 in Maryland with Latino current smoker and ex-smoker men and women (n = 55). Participants were recruited through flyers, information sheets, and site visits at community health clinics and Latino events, and were predominately of Central American origin. Results: Personal health concerns were the main reason to quit smoking; impact on children and family health and role model pressure were frequently mentioned. Barriers to quit smoking included environmental temptation and social factors, emotional pressure, addiction, and habitual behavior. Respondents mostly relied on themselves for cessation, with little use of cessation products or other medications, or awareness of available services. Conclusions: Social influence serves both as a strong motivation for Latinos to quit smoking and as a source of temptation to continue smoking. Favored by both current smokers and ex-smokers, lay health promoters are effective agents to reach Latinos with smoking cessation interventions. In addition, the low use of cessation services could be improved by increasing awareness and availability of Spanish-language cessation services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)423-431
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the National Medical Association
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Health disparities
  • Latinos
  • Tobacco

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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