Date of Conferral



Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)


Public Health


Magdeline C. Aagard


AbstractThe purpose of this research was to explore why some African American men diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) continue smoking following their diagnosis. The theory of planned behavior (TPB) guided the development of this research. The research questions were developed to understand the attitudes, behavioral intentions, subjective norms, social norms, perceived power, and perceived behavioral control that influence their continuing or quitting smoking based on the TPB model. The study’s research method was qualitative. A pilot study, using the same criteria as the main study, confirmed the reliability of the interview guide. Participants were informed about the study via flyers and posters located at public locations. Twelve respondents who were between the ages of 35-65, currently diagnosed with COPD, and currently smoked were selected for participation in the main study. Interviews were individually conducted video chat. All responses and nonverbal cues from the participants were recorded. NVivo 12 was used to organize the collected data. Data analysis was done via (a) compiling data, (b) disassembling data, (c) reassembling data, (d) interpreting the data, and (e) drawing a conclusions. Findings showed that although they were aware of the harmful effects of smoking, the participants had lifelong smoking habits that were difficult to break. This research contributes to a better understanding of the difficulties that face African American men with COPD who continue to smoke and can help family and health care providers to assist them, thus offering better smoking cessation support and individualized care for African American men.