Campus: CSU Long Beach -- July 16, 2003
Department of Health Science Awarded Research Grant to Study Tobacco
Use in Cambodian Population
The Department of Health Science at California State University, Long
Beach has been named the recipient of an 18-month, $106,456 pilot Community
Academic Research Award from the University of California’s Tobacco-Related
Disease Research Program to support the Cambodian Tobacco Research Initiative.
“The program will look at tobacco use in Long Beach’s Cambodian
population, one of the largest outside of Cambodia,” explained
Robert Friis, chair of the CSULB Health Science Depart-ment. Friis,
who is principal investigator of the project, will collaborate with
co-investigator and health sciences faculty member Mohammed Forouzesh.
Other faculty members and departmental students will also contribute
to the research.
The Cambodian Association of America, whose executive director is Him
Chhim, is the community organization that will partner with the department.
The project, with funding from Proposition 99’s higher cigarette
taxes aimed at research into tobacco-related diseases, will discover
Cambodian-American attitudes toward the use of tobacco. “Very
little health related research has been done on the local Cambodian
community and I think one reason our grant proposal was recognized was
this unique perspective,” said Friis, who joined CSULB in 1988.
The research will gather baseline data by organizing focus groups that
represent key members of the local Cambodian population. The project
will then use the data to design an
intervention study to reduce tobacco use among the Cambodian community.
“Our first goal is to find out the meaning to this population
of tobacco,” Friis explained. “Is it a recreation past time
or does it have cultural significance? Once we know the answer to that,
we want to work with the Cambodian community to increase awareness of
the health risks associated with tobacco use.”
CSULB’s Health Science Department is currently in ongoing research
on a number of tobacco-related programs including their most recent
work in a three-year, $500,000 grant from the Tobacco-Related Disease
Research Program that dealt with issues associated with the smoke-free
“It speaks well for the department’s savvy that we created
a winning proposal,” Friis pointed out. “It acknowledges
that we have key individuals at CSULB who are interested in tobacco
research and that we have developed a track record that is credible
within the research community.”
Media Contacts: Rick Gloady, 562/985-5454
Shayne Schroeder, 562/985-1727