Hmong Smoking Rate Has Dropped Substantially In Wisconsin, Study Finds

Habit Has Declined Steeply For Group In The Last Decade


The smoking rate for Hmong people in Wisconsin is down sharply, according to a new study.

The Hmong smoking rate is now lower than the national rate for all Americans. According to the Wisconsin United Coalition of Mutual Assistance Association survey, the Hmong smoking rate dropped from 20 percent in 2002 to only 6 percent last year, compared to 18 percent for all Americans.

The group’s Executive Director Thai Vue said his people are kicking a habit that goes back to the Vietnam War.

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“Hmong soldiers smoked heavily back in Laos,” he said. “Also, in that particular time, many of the Hmong leaders smoked.”

Vue credits an education campaign and direct experience with smoking-related deaths.

“Hmong people die from stroke, from heart disease, from cancer,” said Vue. “So I think the continuation of education plus the fatality rate really sent a clear message.”

One thousand Hmong people in Wisconsin were interviewed for the survey in 2014, and similar surveys in 2002 and 2006.