The Influence of Religious Attendance on Smoking Among Black Men

Janice V. Bowie, Lauren J. Parker, Michelle Beadle-Holder, Ashley Ezema, Marino A. Bruce, Roland J. Thorpe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Cigarette smoking poses a major public health problem that disproportionately affects Blacks and men. Religious attendance has been shown to be positively associated with health promotion and disease prevention among the Black population. In light of this evidence, this study examined if a similar relationship could be found for religious attendance and smoking in Black men. Methods: The National Survey of American Life (NSAL) study sampled 1,271 African American men and 562 Black Caribbean men. Multivariate logistic regression was used to determine the association between religious attendance and cigarette smoking. Results: After adjusting for age, marital status, household income, education, foreign born status, importance of prayer and major stress, men who reported attending religious services almost every day (odds ratio (OR) = 0.21, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.07, 0.62) and weekly (OR = 0.47, 95% CI = 0.29, 0.77) had lower odds of being a current smoker compared to men who reported never attending religious services. Conclusions/Importance: Findings suggest a health benefit in attending religious services on cigarette smoking among Black men in a nationally representative sample. In spite of lower church attendance in Black men in general, our results demonstrate that religious service attendance may still serve as a buffer against cigarette use. Given the emergent attention on faith-based health promotion among men, this conclusion is relevant and timely.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)581-586
Number of pages6
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 16 2017


  • African American
  • Black
  • Religious attendance
  • men's health
  • smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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