Poll: Mormons least likely to be smokers

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 6 2013 3:13 p.m. MDT

Mormons are less likely to be smokers than adherents of any other faith, according to a Gallup poll.

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New polling data from Gallup revealed that Mormons are less likely to be smokers than adherents of any other faith.

“A number of religions have formal or informal constraints on smoking, and presumably those who are most adherent to those religions, as measured by church attendance, would be less likely to smoke,” Frank Newport and Igor Himelfarb wrote for Gallup. “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or Mormon faith provides an example. Mormon doctrine prohibits smoking, and although about 8 percent of Americans who identify as Mormons smoke regardless, this smoking rate is less than half of the 20 percent found for the general adult population in 2012. This suggests that Mormon doctrine does have an effect on smoking among LDS members.”

Smokers by religious affiliation

  • Mormons: 8 percent.
  • Jews: 10 percent.
  • Catholics: 18 percent.
  • Protestants/Other Christians: 20 percent.
  • Muslims: 23 percent.
  • No formal religious affiliation: 26 percent.

A second major finding in the new Gallup poll is that regular church attendance significantly decreases the likelihood of being a smoker: “Those within each major religious group who attend religious services weekly are less likely to smoke than those who never attend. Thus, even if the theology or normative structure of particular religions has some impact on one's likelihood to smoke, one's relative religiosity as measured by church attendance — regardless of religion — continues to have a significant impact.”

Email: jaskar@desnews.com

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