OAKLAND, May 23, 2013 – The Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO), in partnership with Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment, Advocacy and Leadership (APPEAL), is encouraging Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander (AA&NHOPI) tobacco users to speak with their physicians about smoking and quitting.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 23, 2013

Contact:
Stacy Lavilla
Director of Communications, AAPCHO
(510) 272-9536 x110
[email protected]

Rod Lew
Executive Director, APPEAL
(510) 318-7814
[email protected]

AAPCHO and APPEAL Urges AA&NHOPI Smokers to Speak with their Physicians

OAKLAND, May 23, 2013 – The Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO), in partnership with Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment, Advocacy and Leadership (APPEAL), is encouraging Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander (AA&NHOPI) tobacco users to speak with their physicians about smoking and quitting.

AAPCHO and APPEAL, in support of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “Talk with Your Doctor” campaign, is asking physicians and patients, to engage in dialogue about smoking cessation. Yesterday, CDC unveiled its campaign, which recognizes the critical role health care providers can play in helping their patients quit.

“Smoking continues to be a serious problem in our communities,” said Jeffery Caballero, executive director of AAPCHO, “We need to continue to let people know, especially those who fall under the radar of mainstream programs, of the health risks involved with smoking, as well as the availability of resources and services to help people quit.”

AAPCHO, a national non-profit association of community health centers primarily serving medically underserved AA&NHOPIs, is also promoting the Asian Quitline, which offers interpretive services in Korean, Chinese, and Vietnamese. AAPCHO is asking physicians to refer smokers to the hotline, which is offering two weeks of free nicotine patches to callers.

“It is important to get trusted health care providers actively involved and encourage smokers to quit,” said Rod Lew, executive director of APPEAL. “And it is important that our communities, for which many are limited English proficient, get access to the in-language resources and assistance they need. We feel that the ‘Talk to Your Doctor Campaign,’ and the Asian Quitline helps us take steps toward that goal.”

National studies show extremely high smoking prevalence rates in Vietnamese and Korean American men – around one in three are smokers. Limited data on Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islander populations suggest that children begin smoking at a very early age, and that smoking prevalence is very high among Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander men and women.

About AAPCHO
AAPCHO is a national association of 33 community health organizations dedicated to promoting advocacy, collaboration, and leadership that improves the health status and access of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiian, and other Pacific Islanders in the U.S. For more information on AAPCHO please visit www.aapcho.org.

About APPEAL
Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment, Advocacy and Leadership (APPEAL), founded in 1994, is a national organization working towards social justice and a tobacco-free Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander community. To learn more about APPEAL, please visit www.appealforcommunities.org

To share strategies that community-based organizations have used to engage diverse communities in tobacco control, on March 21, 2013 the APPEAL PROMISE Network hosted a webinar on promoting smoke-free multiunit housing policies with guest speakers Christine Araquel from the People’s Community Organization for Reform and Empowerment (People’s CORE) in Los Angeles, California and Ekta Prakash from CAPI USA in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

To share strategies that community-based organizations have used to engage diverse communities in tobacco control, on March 21, 2013 the APPEAL PROMISE Network hosted a webinar on promoting smoke-free multiunit housing policies with guest speakers Christine Araquel from the People’s Community Organization for Reform and Empowerment (People’s CORE) in Los Angeles, California and Ekta Prakash from CAPI USA in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Ms. Araquel described People’s CORE’s Smoke-Free Apartments Project, which engaged residents in Asian American and Pacific Islander neighborhoods in Central Los Angeles in support of voluntary smoke-free policies in outdoor common areas at their apartment complexes. Ms. Prakash presented on CAPI’s Healthy Homes, Healthy Communities program and its work towards smoke-free policies in Minneapolis public housing, which has diverse residents including African and Asian immigrants and refugees.

Both speakers emphasized that a key step in working with diverse communities was extensive outreach at specific community-specific cultural events and settings, and listening to community concerns. Both People’s CORE and CAPI also included language access as an important part of their work with diverse communities; having staff who could speak Tagalog, Somali, and other appropriate languages and having in-language educational materials – were critical to each projects’ success.

If you were unable to attend the webinar and would like to learn more, the presentation slides are available on the APPEAL website at www.appealforcommunities.org/presentations.

In late February, APPEAL launched “Health Starts…Where We Live, Learn, Work, and Play,” a video contest and activity challenge for youth and young adults. The contest and activity challenge is part of our national effort to promote tobacco-free living, healthy eating, and active living (HEAL) in Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) communities.

In late February, APPEAL launched “Health Starts…Where We Live, Learn, Work, and Play,” a video contest and activity challenge for youth and young adults. The contest and activity challenge is part of our national effort to promote tobacco-free living, healthy eating, and active living (HEAL) in Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) communities.

APPEAL invites all youth (13-17 years old) and young adults (18-24 years old) in the United States and the United States Associated Pacific Islands to submit original, imaginative and creative videos that inspire awareness on how availability of tobacco products, poor access to healthy foods and safe spaces for physical activity affect the ease of making healthy choices for AA and NHPI communities. APPEAL also challenges all youths and adults to make 2013 a year of action by pledging to raise awareness of these issues and organize activities to make changes in their schools, neighborhoods, and communities throughout the year.

“We hope the video contest provides a vehicle for youth to foster their storytelling skills in a medium that majority of their generation relate to in very powerful ways,” stated APPEAL Program Director and Interim Program Manager Rachel Matillano. “We encourage youth to become engaged civic participants and proactive agents of change within their communities who can imagine and pursue their own vision of a positive future.”

The deadline for submissions to the video contest goes through April 30, 2013 and winners will be announced on May 17, 2013. Two $250 cash prizes will be awarded – one to the best entry by a youth (13-17 years old), and the other to the best entry by a young adult (18-24 years old). Entries must follow the official rules which can be accessed by visiting this web link: www.appealforcommunities.org/videocontesthealthstarts.

APPEAL is pleased to welcome new staff to the team.

APPEAL is pleased to welcome new staff to the team. Lisa Fu is returning to APPEAL as Research Manager for our upcoming community-based participatory research project. Nina Kahori Fallenbaum joins APPEAL as Communications Manager, and will focus on Healthy Eating and Active Living (HEAL) and developing related policy initiatives. APPEAL also welcomes Mey S. Saephan to the team as an intern. We are excited by the energy and expertise that our new staff members will contribute to the team.

Oakland, CA – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is making a special effort to reach out to Asian American smokers as part of their “Tips from Former Smokers” campaign. The CDC will place ads that include a “tip” to encourage smokers to call the Asian Smokers’ Quitline in various Asian-language newspapers across the country. The Asian Smokers’ Quitline is a free nationwide program offering a variety of services: self-help materials, a referral list of other cessation programs, one-on-one counseling over the phone, and a free two-week starter kit of nicotine patches. In-language services are available to those who speak Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese languages.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 1, 2013

Contact: Rod Lew
(510) 318-7814
[email protected]

CDC Continues National Tobacco Education Campaign with a
Special Effort to Target Asian American Smokers

Oakland, CA – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is making a special effort to reach out to Asian American smokers as part of their “Tips from Former Smokers” campaign. The CDC will place ads that include a “tip” to encourage smokers to call the Asian Smokers’ Quitline in various Asian-language newspapers across the country. The Asian Smokers’ Quitline is a free nationwide program offering a variety of services: self-help materials, a referral list of other cessation programs, one-on-one counseling over the phone, and a free two-week starter kit of nicotine patches. In-language services are available to those who speak Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese languages.

Continuing with the success of last year’s national tobacco education campaign, the second series of advertisements in the “Tips from Former Smokers” campaign will feature real people who are living with the effects of smoking-related diseases. The newest ads in the campaign tell the story of how real people’s lives were changed forever due to their smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke. The ads will air starting today until June 23 and they highlight stories of individuals from the African American, Latino, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT), and Native American/Alaska Native communities.

“We applaud the efforts of the CDC to target priority populations including the Asian American community. We know the Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) community suffers disproportionately from tobacco and we appreciate how the CDC is dedicating resources to addressing tobacco disparities. We hope future efforts are expanded to include Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, and other Asian subgroups,” said Rod Lew, executive director of APPEAL.

Research shows that Asian Americans are impacted by tobacco at higher rates. Two national studies, the National Latino and Asian American Study (NLAAS) and the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), show that the prevalence of smoking is extremely high among Vietnamese American and Korean American men – around 1 in 3 are smokers. While there is limited data collected on Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, some of the data suggests that Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander children start smoking at a very early age and that the prevalence of smoking among both men and women in Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities is also very high.

Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment, Advocacy and Leadership (APPEAL), founded in 1994, is a national organization working towards social justice and a tobacco-free Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander community. APPEAL’s mission is to champion social justice and achieve parity and empowerment for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders by supporting and mobilizing community-led movements through advocacy and leadership development on critical public health issues. To learn more about APPEAL, please visit: www.appealforcommunities.org. For more information on Asian Smokers’ Helpline, visit their website at: www.asiansmokersquitline.org and for details on the “Tips from Former Smokers” campaign, please visit: www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/

OAKLAND, CA – Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment, Advocacy and Leadership (APPEAL) calls upon Canadian Tobacco and Global, Inc. (CT&G) to end its marketing of a new brand of cigarettes, named “Gangnam” after the upscale district in South Korea, which benefits from the popularity of the similarly-named song by famous South Korean rapper Psy.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 6, 2013

Contact:
Rod Lew, Executive Director, APPEAL
(510) 318-7814
[email protected]
www.appealforcommunities.org

NEW “GANGNAM” CIGARETTE BRAND MARKETS A DEADLY PRODUCT TO CONSUMERS, YOUTH

OAKLAND, CA – Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment, Advocacy and Leadership (APPEAL) calls upon Canadian Tobacco and Global, Inc. (CT&G) to end its marketing of a new brand of cigarettes, named “Gangnam” after the upscale district in South Korea, which benefits from the popularity of the similarly-named song by famous South Korean rapper Psy. “This is a blatant act of marketing to youth, particularly those of Asian descent, and to consumers across the globe,” said Rod Lew, executive director of APPEAL. “Using ‘Gangnam’ as a brand name benefits from the widespread popularity of Psy’s hit song and sidesteps Canada’s strict rules for tobacco marketing.” Canada prohibits tobacco sponsorship, restricts and regulates advertising, and requires graphic warning labels about the negative effects of smoking to appear on cigarette packs.

Highly visible industry marketing campaigns using culturally-renowned celebrities and symbols have been part of the tobacco industry’s larger strategy to appeal to youth and young adults and recruit new smokers from diverse communities. Rates of smoking in South Korea and among those of Korean ancestry in the U.S. – especially young adults aged 18-24 – are extremely high, and are a cause for major concern due to the link between smoking and cancer, strokes, and heart disease. Targeting vulnerable communities already burdened with high rates of tobacco-related disease with this new product is just another instance of established tobacco industry tactics.

APPEAL is a national organization working towards social justice and a tobacco-free Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander community. APPEAL encourages smokers and families of Asian smokers in the U.S. to call the nationwide Asian Smokers’ Quitline. The Quitline offers a choice of free services in Asian languages including Korean, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Vietnamese, including one-on-one telephone counseling to quit smoking, self-help materials, referrals to local programs, and a two-week starter kit of nicotine patches.

To reach the Asian Smokers’ Quitline, call:
Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin): 1-800-838-8917
Korean: 1-800-556-5564
Vietnamese: 1-800-778-8440

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Recent years have seen widespread attention in the mainstream press and efforts in the public health sector to address the obesity epidemic and its critical relationships to food and physical activity. Despite this, the effects of obesity in Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) communities are rarely, if ever, included in the larger narrative. The common myth that obesity is not a problem impacting the health and well-being of the AA and NHPI community creates barriers, making it more difficult for our communities to effectively address the issue, such as limited data collection and knowledge of the breadth of the disease burdens related to food and physical activity among AAs and NHPIs.

Recent years have seen widespread attention in the mainstream press and efforts in the public health sector to address the obesity epidemic and its critical relationships to food and physical activity. Despite this, the effects of obesity in Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) communities are rarely, if ever, included in the larger narrative. The common myth that obesity is not a problem impacting the health and well-being of the AA and NHPI community creates barriers, making it more difficult for our communities to effectively address the issue, such as limited data collection and knowledge of the breadth of the disease burdens related to food and physical activity among AAs and NHPIs.

To fill this glaring gap, APPEAL has been building our expertise on obesity and identifying unique strategies that work in our communities. In 2009, we initiated a national network of AA and NHPI leaders engaged in healthy eating and active living (HEAL) around the country, in order to advance the broader movement of food and built environment reform, and to help inform our own approach to HEAL. Today, we support other organizations and community-led efforts to address HEAL in AA and NHPI communities through technical assistance and capacity building activities.

A recent highlight of our work is the creation of a “HEAL 101” presentation, which includes some data on obesity in AA and NHPI communities, the historical, cultural and social determinants that have influenced health as it relates to the food and built environments of our communities, and the core policy solutions that some are exploring to address these issues. The presentation was developed in consultation with our HEAL network, and has already been featured in webinars and in-person presentations. The presentation can be found on our website and is titled “Creating a Healthy Eating Active Living Movement for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians & Pacific Islanders.”

Please browse the APPEAL website to access these and other technical assistance resources on healthy eating and active living, as well as tobacco control. We also encourage you to join our listserv and “like” us on Facebook to receive news and information about trainings and funding opportunities.

Though the Leadership and Advocacy Institute to Advance Minnesota’s Parity for Priority Populations (LAAMPP Institute) runs for 18 months, LAAMPP alumni draw upon skills and connections gained through their participation in their ongoing work serving marginalized communities through tobacco control. With support from ClearWay MinnesotaSM, Vicki Sanders (a current LAAMPP consultant) organized a January 10 quarterly meeting for former alumni and other members of the LAAMPP community to network and to learn from a dynamic speech by political analyst Todd Rapp from the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota.

Though the Leadership and Advocacy Institute to Advance Minnesota’s Parity for Priority Populations (LAAMPP Institute) runs for 18 months, LAAMPP alumni draw upon skills and connections gained through their participation in their ongoing work serving marginalized communities through tobacco control. With support from ClearWay MinnesotaSM, Vicki Sanders (a current LAAMPP consultant) organized a January 10 quarterly meeting for former alumni and other members of the LAAMPP community to network and to learn from a dynamic speech by political analyst Todd Rapp from the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota.

Mr. Rapp stressed that change is coming from the ground up and declared that smoking and commercial tobacco is not a partisan issue, as it crosses party lines. Addressing the leaders representing cross-cultural communities, Mr. Rapp paraphrased the late Senator Paul Wellstone by stating that we need to speak our minds, adhere to our beliefs and generate solutions because, “We all do better when we all do better.” He highlighted that the tobacco industry targets poor people and people of color, and – making a direct connection to the Raise it for Health coalition– noted that while tax increases are regressive, more so are the health implications for poor people with limited access to health care.

The Raise it for Health coalition is a Minnesota-based coalition with 30 partners, including LAAMPP and ClearWay MinnesotaSM. As part of the Raise it for Health coalition, current and former LAAMPP fellows, sponsored by the Headwaters Foundation for Justice, work as Policy
Champions to educate Minnesota policymakers and community members on how commercial tobacco has a disproportionate health impact on marginalized groups in Minnesota and how raising the price of tobacco is one proven way to help reduce tobacco use.

(Note: The views, opinions and positions expressed by the speaker are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or positions of APPEAL, LAAMPP, ClearWay MinnesotaSM, or the Headwaters Foundation for Justice.)

APPEAL commends the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for its new report, released January 25, which shows how each of the 50 states and DC is doing in implementing proven strategies that reduce tobacco use and reports state-specific data on prevalence rates by race/ethnicity. The CDC’s Tobacco Control State Highlights 2012 shows an effort to report data on Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) communities. However, what the report reveals is that there continue to be severe limitations in data on Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders and Asian Americans.

APPEAL commends the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for its new report, released January 25, which shows how each of the 50 states and DC is doing in implementing proven strategies that reduce tobacco use and reports state-specific data on prevalence rates by race/ethnicity. The CDC’s Tobacco Control State Highlights 2012 shows an effort to report data on Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) communities. However, what the report reveals is that there continue to be severe limitations in data on Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders and Asian Americans.

Due to a variety of reasons, data collection and reporting standards often continue to lump together over thirty Asian American ethnic groups into aggregate “Asian” and “Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander” categories. For Asian Americans, data on an aggregated “Asian” category that groups together men and women show an artificially low rate of tobacco use that masks diversity within the community and very high rates of tobacco use within some Asian American subgroups—especially among males. Another consequence of data collection methods is that sample sizes are often too small to be reliable and data cannot be reported on for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians or Pacific Islanders. Some steps that could be taken to address this issue are: over-sampling for members of understudied AA and NHPI ethnic subgroups, reporting pooled data from multiple years of a study, conducting interviews in languages other than English, or sponsoring special reports on understudied groups.

“Disaggregating data into ethnic subgroups, conducting surveys in-language, and oversampling for AA and NHPIs in research studies is critical for understanding disparities in tobacco use,” said Rod Lew, executive director of APPEAL. “Without accurate data on specific AA and NHPI ethnic subgroups, the ability to fund, develop and implement culturally tailored tobacco control programs are severely limited.”

When reports cite aggregated measures of tobacco use for AAs and NHPIs, it makes it seem like tobacco is not a problem in the community. As a result, policymakers do not prioritize segments of the AA and NHPI who are disproportionately impacted by tobacco. APPEAL calls for accurate data collection on diverse communities as a step to eliminating health disparities.

Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment, Advocacy and Leadership (APPEAL) commends efforts to reduce smoking in Vietnam by making it illegal to sell cigarettes to youth under 18 years of age or to employ youth of the same age to sell tobacco products.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 13, 2013

Contact:
Rod Lew, Executive Director, APPEAL
(510) 318-7814
[email protected]

APPEAL Applauds the Ban on the Sale of Cigarettes to Youth in Vietnam

Oakland, CA – February 13, 2013 – Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment, Advocacy and Leadership (APPEAL) commends efforts to reduce smoking in Vietnam by making it illegal to sell cigarettes to youth under 18 years of age or to employ youth of the same age to sell tobacco products.

The strategy to curb youth smoking accompanies a ban on all forms of tobacco advertising and smoking in public places. APPEAL hopes that these efforts will reduce smoking both in Vietnam and in Vietnamese American communities.

“Due to the high proportion of Asian Americans that are immigrants, changing cultural norms to make smoking less acceptable in Asian countries can have a profound impact on attitudes and reducing smoking in Asian American communities,” said Rod Lew, executive director of APPEAL. “Estimates of smoking prevalence among Vietnamese Americans indicate that nearly a quarter to over half of Vietnamese American men smoke.”

Studies in the U.S. show that nearly 100% of daily smokers try their first cigarette as youth or young adults, so reducing youth access to cigarettes is a crucial part of preventing tobacco-related disease, disability, and death. APPEAL applauds efforts to curb smoking among youth and young adults in Vietnam, where smoking-related disease causes an estimated 40,000 deathes each year, and is expected to rise to 70,000 deaths per year by 2030.

Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment, Advocacy and Leadership (APPEAL), founded in 1994, is a national organization working towards social justice and a tobacco-free Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander community. APPEAL’s mission is to champion social justice and achieve parity and empowerment for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders by supporting and mobilizing community-led movements through advocacy and leadership development on critical public health issues. To learn more about APPEAL, please visit www.appealforcommunities.org.