Religious institutions provide social welfare services in communities. Rural program planners may
leverage the social networks and capacity of faith-based organizations in designing tobacco cessation
and prevention programs. For example, rural communities may develop a culturally-tailored smoking
cessation program that can be delivered in faith-based organizations, or collaborate with faith-based
organization leaders to provide congregants with cessation education materials.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) includes faith-based
organizations as a key partner in their Tips from Former Smokers communications campaign.
Examples of Faith-Based Interventions
The University of Kentucky School of Medicine worked with 26 rural churches in Appalachian Kentucky
to implement a faith-oriented smoking cessation program, Faith
Moves Mountains, with over 590 smokers. Participants appreciated the program's ability
to reduce the costs of smoking cessation and increase peer accountability.
The Southern Coalfields Tobacco Prevention
Network works with faith-based organizations to
conduct education about tobacco cessation. Local churches allow tobacco cessation counselors from the
network to staff their food-delivery program. When the counselors deliver the food into homes, they
have conversations about tobacco use with members of the community. Counselors are able to deliver
brief interventions on the spot, and refer community members to the quitline or local cessation
Churches and other faith-based organizations can connect their members to local “Freedom
from Smoking” group clinics. A program of the National Lung Association, “Freedom from
Smoking” uses trained facilitators to walk participants through the process of quitting. In 8
sessions, participants learn to manage stress, make lifestyle changes, avoid weight gain, and prepare for
quit day, among other topics.
Considerations for Implementation
Partnerships with faith-based
communities for tobacco cessation and prevention efforts can occur on a continuum. At a low level
of engagement, program planners may connect with faith-based partners to discuss how to involve their
congregants in a community program. Planners may also wish to ask faith-based organizations if they
would be interested in disseminating or sharing information about their intervention.
of engagement can involve holding tobacco cessation education classes at faith-based organizations,
training faith leaders to provide education about tobacco cessation and prevention, and partnering
with a faith-based program to conduct outreach to community members.
Program planners should engage
faith-based partners from the outset of the program to begin building trust and determine the best
way to involve the faith-based community in their tobacco cessation and prevention efforts.
Program Clearinghouse Example
Resources to Learn More
and Partnering with Faith-Based Organizations in Initiatives for Children, Youth, and Families
This toolkit may help community programs that are interested in partnering with faith-based
organizations in order to serve children and their families.
Organization(s): Prepared by the Institute for Educational Leadership with funding from the
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of
Partnerships with Faith-based & Community-Based
Organizations: Engaging America's Grassroots Organizations in Promoting Public Health
This report describes how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have successfully worked
with faith- and community-based organizations to address public health concerns.
Organization(s): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
A Rural Appalachian Faith-Placed
Smoking Cessation Intervention
This journal article describes the implementation of a smoking cessation program called Faith Moves
Mountains program that the University of Kentucky School of Medicine implemented in rural
Author(s): Schoenberg, N.E., Bundy, H.E., Baeker Bispo, J.A.,
Studts, C.R., Shelton, B.J., & Fields, N.
Citation: Journal of Religion and Health, 54(2), 598–611