Tobacco use characteristics among rural Ohio Appalachians

Mary Ellen Wewers, Karen L. Ahijevych, Moon S Chen, Sereana Dresbach, Kristine E. Kihm, Patty A. Kuun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Appalachians remain at high risk for cancer, heart and lung disease, in part because of their high prevalence of tobacco use; yet, information about their tobacco consumption patterns is limited. The purpose of this study was to describe tobacco consumption variables among rural adult Appalachian tobacco users. Subjects, aged 18 and older (N = 249), participated in a face-to-face interview about tobacco consumption variables and knowledge regarding the health effects of tobacco at fairs in two rural Ohio Appalachian counties. The majority of participants were categorized as precontemplators, although 21 percent were classified in preparation stage of change. Mean age of initiation was 16.6 years and number of cigarettes smoked per day (cpd) was significantly higher for men, as compared to women. One-third of males reported the use of smokeless tobacco. The majority had not tried to quit for more than a year and the average number of previous quit attempts was low. One-half of the sample had been advised in the past to quit by their physician. Few had used nicotine replacement with past quit attempts but greater than half would consider this approach with future attempts. Knowledge about the health effects of smoking indicated that most were aware of the relationship between smoking and cancer but less than one-half recognized its association with heart disease. Those with less education were less informed about the health effects to self and non-smokers. While a sizeable portion expressed interest in quitting, knowledge about the health effects of smoking is lacking, especially with regard to heart disease and among those with less education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)377-388
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Community Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Appalachian group
  • Risk factors
  • Smoking
  • Tobacco

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions(all)


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