Use of lay health educators for smoking cessation in a hard-to-reach urban community

J Community Health. 1991 Oct;16(5):269-82. doi: 10.1007/BF01320335.


A description of the use of indigenous lay health educators as they participated in the implementation of a community-based smoking cessation program is provided. The target population was young black women who resided in several urban public housing developments. The intervention, which was conducted in tandem with a larger televised smoking cessation program, consisted of either class sessions conducted by or reminder visits from community lay health educators. The lay health educators were successful in organizing this population, often viewed as difficult to reach, to become more aware of the dangers of smoking and to become more interested in participating in a structured smoking cessation program. They motivated 235 individuals to sign up for the program; of these, 141 attended at least one class session or accepted at least an initial reminder visit. The results suggest that lay health educators may be able to mobilize this population to participate in health promotion programs. However, due to differences in this population related to smoking, the findings indicate that new methods must be developed for sustaining their involvement after they have been reached.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Chicago
  • Community Health Workers*
  • Female
  • Health Education*
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Smoking Cessation* / methods
  • Television
  • Urban Health*
  • Workforce