Smoking after church

Smoking in the U.S. is highly correlated with religiosity, with those who never attend church almost three times as likely to smoke as those who attend weekly.images-1

This relationship holds even when controlling for demographic characteristics associated with smoking and church attendance, reports Gallup.

“These data are based on 353,571 interviews conducted throughout 2012 with American adults aged 18 and older as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.

“Smoking as measured by the question “Do you smoke?” increases in a linear fashion as church attendance decreases, ranging from a low of 12% among those who report attending church at least once a week, to 30% among those who never attend church.

“Both smoking and religious service attendance are related to a number of demographic characteristics within the population, including:

  • Age — smoking decreases with age, while religious service attendance increases
  • Gender — men are more likely to smoke but are less likely to attend church
  • Marital status — smoking is lower among married Americans, while church attendance is higher

“However, an in-depth multivariate analysis shows that church attendance continues to have a statistically significant relationship with smoking even after controlling for the impact of these three variables, along with education, income, and ethnicity. (Details on the multivariate analysis are on page 2.) The fact that religiosity remains a significant predictor of smoking after controlling for these other demographic correlates confirms the strength of the relationship, but doesn’t establish causality.”


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