Tobacco Use among NYC Muslims: Results of the Nafis Salaam Community Survey

  • Sarah Sayeed
Keywords: tobacco use, smoking, health education

Abstract

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5915/43-1-6053

Based in New York City, Nafis Salaam is an innovative smoking prevention and cessation program for Muslims developed by the Muslim Consultative Network (MCN) in partnership with the Islamic Medical Association of North America (IMANA). Funded by the American Legacy Foundation, Nafis Salaam launched in early 2009 and broke new ground in providing quantitative information about behaviors and attitudes among Muslims towards tobacco use. Results of a community survey among Muslims in New York City and surrounding areas (n=408) show the complexity of tobacco use, including cigarette and water pipe smoking (shisha/hookah), as well as chewing tobacco (pan/gutka). Findings include age and gender-related differences in tobacco use as well as high exposure to second-hand smoke. Beliefs about religious prohibitions are also associated with smoking behavior as nonsmokers are more likely to believe that smoking is disliked or forbidden in Islam. Participants' interests in mosque-based tobacco education suggest new avenues for partnerships between health-care providers and community religious institutions, as well as the possibility of including faith-based and culturally appropriate messaging in antismoking educational initiatives. Based in New York City (NYC), Nafis Salaam (NS) is an innovative smoking prevention and cessation program for Muslims developed by Muslim Consultative Network (MCN) in partnership with Islamic Medical Association of North America (IMANA). Funded by American Legacy Foundation, Nafis Salaam launched in early 2009 and breaks new ground in providing quantitative information about tobacco use behaviors among Muslims and their understanding of religious prohibitions against smoking. Results of a community survey among Muslim New Yorkers (n=408) show the complexity of tobacco use, including cigarettes, shisha/hookah, as well as pan/gutka. Findings also include age and gender-related differences in tobacco use as well as high exposure to second-hand smoke. Beliefs about religious prohibitions are associated with smoking behavior. Participants’ interests in mosque-based tobacco education suggest new avenues for partnerships between providers and community religious institutions, as well as the possibility of including faith-based and culturally appropriate messaging in education initiatives.

Author Biography

Sarah Sayeed
Sarah Sayeed is a health and public communication consultant. She also works at the Interfaith Center of New York and is President of Women In Islam, Inc. Formerly an assistant professor at Baruch College, School of Public Affairs, Sarah graduated from Princeton University in 1990 and earned her doctorate in communications from the Annenberg School for Communications where she specialized in public health communication.
Published
2011-02-10
Section
Original Articles