Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Jeanne Salyer

Second Advisor

Dr. Linda Haddad

Third Advisor

Dr, Kyungeh An

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Leroy R. Thacker

Fifth Advisor

Dr. Robert L. Balster


Background: Arab Americans, a growing population in the U.S., tend to have high rates of smoking and low rates of smoking cessation. Arab Americans and their families are at a high risk for poor health outcomes related to smoking.

Objective: The purpose of this study is to better understand the smoking behaviors of Arabs in the U.S., using the two publishable manuscripts format. The first manuscript is a systematic review of the literature exploring the smoking behavior, prevalence and use among Arab Americans and examining studies addressing the effect of acculturation on this behavior. The second manuscript is a cross-sectional quantitative study investigating factors influencing desire to quit smoking among Arab Americans, and their association with acculturation and health beliefs.

Results: The majority of the studies included in the first manuscript focused on smoking prevalence and cessation. Some discussed the impact of acculturation and health beliefs only two smoking cessation programs have been developed. Thus a cross-sectional descriptive study among adult Arab American smokers was conducted to measure tobacco use, nicotine dependence, desire to quit smoking, acculturation, and health beliefs. The desire to quit smoking was positively associated with perceived severity and susceptibility to cancer, perceived benefits of quitting smoking; and negatively associated with smoking barriers and nicotine dependence. Being female, having lower level of nicotine dependence, and higher perception of cancer severity predicted higher desire to quit smoking.

Conclusion: Smoking cessation intervention studies need to target appropriate health beliefs, especially cancer severity of smoking among male Arab Americans.


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