Culturally specific interventions for African American smokers: An efficacy experiment

Monica S. Webb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


This pilot study sought to dismantle the efficacy of culturally specific print materials for smoking cessation. Two-hundred sixty-one African American smokers were randomized into 1 of 2 conditions: standard booklet or culturally specific booklet. The content and length of the interventions were identical yet varied in their degree of cultural specificity. Three-month follow-up assessments were completed by 70% (N = 183) of participants. Dependent variables included content evaluation, readiness to quit smoking, and actual behavior change. Evidence suggested that the culturally specific material was more effective at capturing attention, providing encouragement and gaining interest compared to standard materials; however, greater credibility was found for standard materials. In addition, greater readiness to quit and more 24-hour quit attempts were found in the standard condition. No differences were found in abstinence rates. In conclusion, culturally specific interventions may be preferred over standard approaches among African American smokers. Culturally specific approaches, however, may not result in greater behavior change. Implications for written interventions and cultural specificity are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)927-935
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the National Medical Association
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2009


  • African Americans
  • Tobacco

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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