Issue Brief: Health Disparities Related to Smoking in Appalachia, Practical Strategies and Recommendations for Communities

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Throughout the Appalachian Region, smoking is a common health risk that contributes to significantly higher rates of tobacco-related disease and lower life expectancy compared to the rest of the United States. Drawing on the research presented in the health disparities and Bright Spot reports, this brief focuses on promising practices, intervention strategies, and policies aimed at reducing health disparities related to smoking. This brief: ■ summarizes statistics on smoking and related diseases in Appalachian communities, ■ discusses key strategies and resources for reducing tobacco use, and ■ provides recommendations for community leaders, funders, and policymakers. This brief discusses four recommendations in detail: 1. Prevent smoking initiation among youth. 2. Increase access to tobacco cessation interventions. 3. Launch anti-tobacco communication campaigns. 4. Reduce exposure to secondhand smoke.