Religion and Smoking: A Review of Recent Literature

ArticleinThe International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine 43(3):279-92 · September 2012with67 Reads
Impact Factor: 0.89 · 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.

    • "The cost of providing healthcare to Chinese people with chronic disease threatens to drain the country of financial resources that could otherwise be directed toward economic growth. Successful control and prevention of tobacco use requires a comprehensive approach that considers a variety of biological, psychological and cultural/spiritual factors [12] . As noted earlier, there is a increasing prevalence of religious activity, and a growing acceptance by the Chinese government towards religious organizations [26,45]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cigarette smoking causes serious health, economic, and social problems throughout the world. Religious involvement is known to be an important predictor of health behaviors and substance use. The present study examines the correlation between religious involvements and tobacco use, and explores connections between religiosity and tobacco use in Muslims and non-Muslims in Western China. Data were examined from a representative sample of 2,770 community-dwelling adults in the province of Ningxia located in Western China. Self-report smoking, past smoking, religious attendance and the importance of religious in daily life were measured. The WHO Composite International Diagnostic Interview was used to diagnose tobacco use disorders. Three separate logistic regression models were used to examine correlations between religious involvement and smoking status. In the overall sample, religious attendance was inversely associated with current smoking (p < 0.001), as was importance of religion (p < 0.05). Current smoking was also less common in those categorized as high on religious involvement. No association, however, was found between religious involvement and either past smoking or tobacco use disorders. In Muslims, both religion attendance and high religiosity were inversely associated with current smoking (p < 0.001), although no association was found in non-Muslims. Religious involvement is inversely related to current smoking in Western China, although this association depends on religious affiliation.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · BMC Public Health
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    • "Manufactured cigarettes, hand-rolled cigarettes, tobacco-filled pipes, curut, cigars, cigarillos, shisha/hookah and bidis are among the commonly used tobacco products in Malaysia (Lim et al. 2010). Religion play a vital part in creating awareness and self-respect that could prevent one from starting smoking or encourage him to initiate smoking cessation (Garrusi and Nakhaee 2012; Yong et al. 2009). Several studies have correlated the perception and role of religion in smoking cessation. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Malaysian official Islamic authorities have issued a "fatwa" (Islamic ruling) regarding smoking practice which prohibits Muslims from smoking because of its potential harm to health. Since the prevalence of smoking among Malaysian students is high, this study was designed to explore the perceptions and opinions of Malaysian Muslim students towards smoking in International Islamic University of Malaysia. A prospective, cross-sectional study was conducted among School of Science students in International Islamic University Malaysia. Convenience sampling approach was used to recruit 323 students based on sample size calculation. A content- and face-validated questionnaire was used to collect the data from the participants. Non-smokers highly supported the fatwa on smoking forbiddance than smokers (94 vs 64.3 %, p = 0.001). A significant proportion of non-smokers believed that Islam prohibits smoking because of its potential harm (94.9 vs 71.4 %, p = 0.001). Majority of smokers agreed that addiction is the main barrier towards smoking cessation (78.6 vs 61.5 %, p = 0.019). The results showed positive influences of Islamic beliefs on the non-smokers. Further studies are required to validate these findings by surveying other universities of Malaysia.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Journal of Religion and Health
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    • "In our study, Catholic, traditional religions, or no religious affiliation were associated with smoking and SLT use, which may likely be a residual confounder. Although none of the religions promote smoking or other unhealthy behaviors, there is no conclusive evidence for this negative relationship between religion and tobacco use [39]. As compared to those who were never in union, single men (separated, divorced, or widowed) were more likely to use tobacco; this was also the case for married women. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background Although the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control prioritizes monitoring of tobacco use by population-based surveys, information about the prevalence and patterns of tobacco use in sub-Saharan Africa is limited. We provide country-level prevalence estimates for smoking and smokeless tobacco (SLT) use and assess their social determinants.Methods We analyzed population-based data of the most recent Demographic Health Surveys performed between 2006 and 2013 involving men and women in 30 sub-Saharan African countries. Weighted country-level prevalence rates were estimated for `current smoking¿ (cigarettes, pipe, cigars, etc.) and `current SLT use¿ (chewing, snuff, etc.). From the pooled datasets for men and women, social determinants of smoking and SLT use were assessed through multivariate analyses using a dummy country variable as a control and by including a within-country sample weight for each country.ResultsAmong men, smoking prevalence rates were high in Sierra Leone (37.7%), Lesotho (34.1%), and Madagascar (28.5%); low (<10%) in Ethiopia, Benin, Ghana, Nigeria, and Sao Tome & Principe; the prevalence of SLT use was <10% in all countries except for Madagascar (24.7%) and Mozambique (10.9%). Among women, smoking and SLT prevalence rates were <5% in most countries except for Burundi (9.9%), Sierra Leone (6%), and Namibia (5.9%) (smoking), and Madagascar (19.6%) and Lesotho (9.1%) (SLT use). The proportion of females who smoked was lower than SLT users in most countries. Older age was strongly associated with both smoking and SLT use among men and women. Smoking among both men and women was weakly associated, but SLT use was strongly associated, with education. Similarly, smoking among men and women was weakly associated, but SLT use was strongly associated, with the wealth index. Smoking and SLT use were also associated with marital status among both men and women, as well as with occupation (agriculturists and unskilled workers).Conclusions Prevalence of smoking among women was much lower than in men, although the social patterns of tobacco use were similar to those in men. Tobacco control strategies should target the poor, not/least educated, and agricultural and unskilled workers, who are the most vulnerable social groups in sub-Saharan Africa.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · BMC Medicine
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