A Qualitative Study of Attitudes towards Smoking and Anti-Smoking Measures among Korean Male Smokers in Australia

  •  Yoojin Choi    
  •  Cathy Banwell    


The study aims to explore how Korean male smokers living in Australia talk and feel about smoking and how they have understood and experienced tobacco control policies in Australia—including price increase, display ban, plain packaging, and graphic warning labels. A qualitative study was conducted based on in-depth face-to-face interviews with 8 Korean male smokers aged 23–40 years living in Canberra. Participants discussed social and cultural conditions in Korea under which smoking is practiced and maintained. Smoking as a means of socialising and relaxation were consistently discussed as the main reasons for continued smoking which was deeply embedded in their everyday lives as habit or part of routines. The health risks of smoking were not among the immediate or ultimate considerations influencing participants. Participants commented that price increases had affected them most but other measures had little impact on their smoking behaviours, although they acknowledged their potentials in deterring younger people. Future anti-smoking interventions in Korea should address the significant social and cultural determinants of smoking and acknowledge smokers’ own understanding of their smoking and anti-smoking measures. Appreciating smokers’ diverse representations of their own smoking and their attitudes towards health and anti-smoking measures would increase acceptance of policies and the probability that they will be successful, leading to positive outcomes.

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