Cultural reasons and stress make South Asian men smoke
Older men of South Asian origin living in the UK feel it's quite normal to smoke, but younger people think it disrespectful.
Around half of Bangladeshi males in the UK smoke - which is far higher than the proportion among white men. What are the underlying reasons? In a study sponsored by Cancer Research UK, the leading charity, scientists at the University of Newcastle went out into the community and studied the underlying social, cultural and psychological reasons why men from South Asia smoke.
The men say that the stress of working long hours makes them smoke. It's also considered normal for a man to smoke in such communities - but wrong for a woman. The researchers wonder if people are influenced by smoking in popular Asian films - the so-called 'Bollywood' movies - where the hero often has a cigarette in his mouth. That used to happen in Hollywood films of the forties and fifties and was probably influential. But Hollywood films today are largely smoke-free!
There was a difference in the age groups when it came to smoking. Older men regarded it as acceptable, but younger men thought smoking disrespectful and even wrong. When giving out health advice, with the aim of reducing the numbers of lung and trachea cancers among South Asian men, medical staff need to be aware of these underlying cultural reasons for smoking