Neighbors for a smoke free north side: evaluation of a community organization approach to promoting smoking cessation among African Americans

Am J Public Health. 1998 Nov;88(11):1658-63. doi: 10.2105/ajph.88.11.1658.


Objectives: This study evaluated a community organization approach that emphasized involvement of audiences in program planning and implementation in promoting nonsmoking among African American residents of low-income neighborhoods.

Methods: The quasi-experimental design involved a 24-month intervention in 3 low-income, predominantly African American neighborhoods in St. Louis. Intervention neighborhoods were compared with comparable, untreated neighborhoods in Kansas City.

Results: The program was successful in engaging audience members in its governance and in instigating numerous and diverse neighborhood activities to promote nonsmoking. The prevalence of smoking declined from 34% to 27% in program neighborhoods but only from 34% to 33% in comparison neighborhoods. This difference was apparent within all demographically defined subsamples, indicating that observed changes were consistent and not attributable to confounding by demographic characteristics.

Conclusions: A community organization approach emphasizing local authority for program decisions and involvement of informal networks may have an appreciable impact on smoking among residents of low-income, African American neighborhoods.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • African Americans / psychology*
  • Aged
  • Community Participation*
  • Decision Making, Organizational
  • Female
  • Health Promotion / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Missouri
  • Poverty
  • Prevalence
  • Program Development
  • Program Evaluation
  • Smoking Cessation / ethnology*
  • Smoking Cessation / methods*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Urban Health Services / organization & administration*