A Rural Appalachian Faith-Placed Smoking Cessation Intervention

Nancy E. Schoenberg, Henry E. Bundy, Jordan A. Baeker Bispo, Christina R. Studts, Brent J. Shelton, Nell Fields

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Although health promotion programming in faith institutions is promising, most faith-based or placed health projects focus on diet, exercise, or cancer screening and many have been located in urban environments. This article addresses the notable absence of faith programming for smoking cessation among underserved rural US residents who experience tobacco-related health inequities. In this article, we describe our faith-oriented smoking cessation program in rural Appalachia, involving 590 smokers in 26 rural churches randomized to early and delayed intervention groups. We present three main themes that account for participants’ positive evaluation of the program; the program’s ability to leverage social connections; the program’s convenience orientation; and the program’s financial support for smoking cessation. We also present themes on the roles of faith and church in smoking cessation programming, including some mixed perceptions on smoking stigma and comfort in church settings; challenges in faith-placed smoking cessation recruitment; and the positive perception of such programming by church leaders. We conclude that faith-placed smoking cessation programs offer great potential, although they must be administered with great sensitivity to individual and community norms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)598-611
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Religion and Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


  • Appalachia
  • Health promotion
  • Religion
  • Rural populations
  • Smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing
  • Religious studies


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