Religion and Smoking: A Review of Recent Literature

Neuroscience Research Center, Kerman, Iran.
The International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine (Impact Factor: 0.89). 09/2012; 43(3):279-92. DOI: 10.2190/PM.43.3.g
Source: PubMed


Tobacco smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke are a major threat to human health worldwide. The effort to prevent tobacco use should be regarded as an important public health strategy. Given the significance of religion and spirituality in the daily life of more than 90% of the world's population, the relationship of religion and smoking should be seen as a critical research area. Religions are many and varied, but most value human well-being highly and so do not approve of tobacco use, even though they do not prohibit it entirely. In recent years, researchers have shown more interest in the subject of religion and health, including drug and tobacco use. Differences of focus and methodology notwithstanding, most studies have ascertained a deterrent role for religion as regards tobacco use, and several mechanisms have been proposed to explain the negative relationship between religion or spirituality and smoking. Many of the studies, however, suffer from shortcomings that need to be acknowledged and addressed, such as using nonstandard data-gathering tools, lack of a unified definition of religion or spirituality, and paucity of research in non-Christian and developing countries. Finally, the cross-sectional nature of many of the studies makes the meaningful interpretation of findings difficult.

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    • "Place of residence has been shown to predict smoking [17,26,27], although some review studies have not found consistency in this prediction, for example [23]. Place of residence relates to occupation, education, income and one’s overall status in society. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Tobacco use is a public health burden in both developed and developing countries. However, there is still a dearth of nationally representative studies from Sub-Saharan Africa to inform interventions in the region. Socioeconomic trends and disparities in cigarette smoking were explored among Ghanaian men. Method A nationally representative sample of Ghanaian men 15–59 years was surveyed in the 2003 (N = 5015) and 2008 (N = 4568) Ghana Demographic and Health Surveys (N = 9583). Logistic regression analyses were conducted to investigate cigarette smoking by socioeconomic status (SES) and the changes over the two study periods. The results are presented as adjusted odds ratios (AOR) at 95% confidence intervals (CI) Results The prevalence decreased by 1.7% from 9% (95% CI 0.09–0.11) in 2003 to 7.3% (95% CI 0.07–0.09) in 2008. The prevalence of cigarette smoking was higher in the older age groups (25–34 year-olds and 35–59 year-olds) compared to 15–24 year-olds. Education (AOR = 2.2, 95% CI 1.4–3.4; no education vs higher education) and occupation (AOR = 4.2, 95% CI 2.3–7.6; not working vs managerial position) and being in labour force (AOR = 2.6, 95% CI 1.7–4.0) were related to cigarette smoking. Furthermore, religion, wealth (AOR = 3.1 95% CI 2.1–4.5; poorest compared to richest) and rural residence (AOR = 1.8, 95% CI 1.5–2.1) were associated with cigarette smoking. Over the period, cigarette smoking seems to have decreased among Ghanaian male at the population level but not among all groups by age, education, wealth and place of residence. Conclusion Cigarette smoking interventions should be structured to reduce the menace among men. Such interventions must also particularly target lower socioeconomic groups in order to avert an increase in the inequalities in the behaviour and prervent a consequent increase in the socioeconomic gradient in tobacco-related diseases and deaths.
    Archives of Public Health 04/2013; 71(1):9. DOI:10.1186/0778-7367-71-9
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    ABSTRACT: The results of a national survey of determinants of drinking, smoking and betel-nut chewing behaviors are analyzed. The purpose of this paper is to empirically investigate whether drinking, smoking and betel-nut chewing are influenced by a variety of religions based on Taiwan data. Our results suggest that Buddhism, Taoism and practitioners of Chinese folk region are positively associated with heavy betel nut chewing while the religion effects on heavy smoking and drinking are statistically insignificant. Our findings on religion effects in Taiwan can be a valuable reference for comparison in Christian and western countries.
    Addictive behaviors 10/2013; 39(1). DOI:10.1016/j.addbeh.2013.10.003 · 2.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Religion and spirituality are instrumental to coping with health; however, there is limited literature on the use of religion and spirituality among Black men with type 2 diabetes. The purpose of this study is to explore how Black men use religion or spirituality to cope with diabetes management. We conducted in-depth interviews with 30 Black men recruited from a diabetes clinic in Atlanta, Georgia as part of a larger study. This article reports on data from 12 of the 30 Black men who reported the use of religion and spirituality as a coping strategy for diabetes management. The following coping strategies were reported: prayer and belief in God, keeping me alive, turning things over to God, changing my unhealthy behaviors, supplying my needs, reading the Bible, and religious or spiritual individuals helping me. Healthcare professionals and researchers involved in diabetes management among Black men should consider these findings in their efforts.
    Journal of Religion and Health 12/2013; 54(1). DOI:10.1007/s10943-013-9812-0 · 1.02 Impact Factor
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