U.S. Drops $4.5 Mil on Culturally Appropriate Program to Help Asians Quit Smoking

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from Judicial Watch,

The U.S. government is dedicating $4.5 million to enhance a “linguistically and culturally appropriate” program to help Asians quit smoking. It is known as the national Asian language quitline and provides cessation counseling, nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), and in-language materials for tobacco users who speak Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese (CKV). The cash will flow through a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) offshoot called Office on Smoking and Health. With an annual budget of nearly $10 billion, the CDC is the federal agency responsible for protecting public health. It operates under the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and claims to work around the clock to protect America from health, safety, and security threats whether diseases start at home or abroad.

In its grant announcement the agency writes that telephone-based quitlines increase quit rates among individuals who use commercial tobacco and are trying to stop. They are also effective in reaching and supporting diverse and low-income populations, according to the CDC.

It is not clear how the agency came to that conclusion considering that a national government-funded Asian Smokers’ Quitline (ASQ) that has served CKV-speaking populations since 2012 has enrolled just 19,000 callers in more than a decade. That information is embedded deep in the grant announcement which is more than 50 pages

In the last few years, the government has spent vast amounts of taxpayer dollars to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate services to a variety of groups. Recent examples include $66.5 million to strengthen COVID-19 vaccine confidence among racial and ethnic minority groups by providing culturally appropriate information, education and outreach involving the shots. Uncle Sam also recently spent $125 million to provide illegal immigrant minors, known as Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC), with a multitude of services in the private sector including medical care, special housing arrangements for delinquent, pregnant and gang-affiliated teens as well as long-term counseling. The services were guaranteed by the government to be “culturally and linguistically-appropriate to the unique need of each individual.”

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