Date of Award

Spring 5-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Social Work (DSW)

First Advisor

Ram Cnaan, PhD

Second Advisor

Robert Schnoll, PhD

Third Advisor

E. Paul, Wileyto, PhD





Kia Kerrin, MSW

Ram Cnaan, Ph.D.

Tobacco use, particularly cigarette smoking, is the single most preventable cause of death in the United States of America. The negative health effects of cigarette smoking are a major public health concern that can be reduced through quitting. Preliminary data has shown that spirituality can aid in the success of addiction treatment programs and smoking cessation programs. However, the current data are limited in their support of the relationship between spirituality and smoking cessation. This research study further explored the relationship between spiritual well-being and smoking cessation. A sample of 178 cigarette smokers was included in the research study to assess the relationship between levels of spiritual well-being and abstinence after an 8 week nicotine patch smoking cessation treatment program. The study was conducted through the University of Pennsylvania and Northwestern University. The proposed study was completed in conjunction with an ongoing NIH-funded clinical trial (R01 DA025078; An Effectiveness Trial of Maintenance Therapy for Nicotine Dependence). The proposed study involved the inclusion of a spiritual well-being scale at the baseline session. Subjects received the 21mg transdermal nicotine patch for 8 weeks, along with smoking cessation counseling. The Spiritual Well Being scale was utilized to determine if spiritual well-being was a predictor of abstinence at the 8 week mark. This research study was intended to be a catalyst to determine whether spirituality should play a part in smoking cessation programs. Concerning the relationship between the spiritual well-being scale and quitting smoking and the spiritual well-being scale and dropping out of the smoking cessation program, there were no significant findings. Although, these main relationships were not found there were other significant relationships that may suggest these areas should be explored in more depth. Relationships were found between religious well-being and compliance with patch usage. The initial findings also suggest there is a relationship between scores of religious well - being and race.