Recent studies show that smoking prevalence in the Turkish-speaking migrant population in Switzerland is substantially higher than in the general population. A specific group treatment for Turkish-speaking migrants was developed and tested in order to provide the migrant population with equal access to smoking cessation programs and to improve the migration-sensitive quality of such programs by sociocultural targeting.
The evaluation of the program included quantitative (questionnaires t1 and t2 and follow-up by telephone) and qualitative methods (participant observation and semi-structured interviews).
The results showed that 37.7% of the 61 participants were smoke free at the 12-month follow-up. The factors of being in a partnership and using nicotine replacement products during the program were positively associated with successful cessation. We also demonstrated the importance of "strong ties" (strong relationships between participants) and the sensitivity of the program to sociocultural (e.g., social aspects of smoking in Turkish culture, which were addressed in relapse prevention), socioeconomic (e.g., low financial resources, which were addressed by providing the course for free), and migration-specific (e.g., underdeveloped access to smoking cessation programs, which was addressed using outreach strategy for recruiting) issues.
Overall, the smoking cessation program was successfully tested and is now becoming implemented as a regular service of the Swiss Public Health Program for Tobacco Prevention (by the Swiss Association for Smoking Prevention).