What are the goals of this study?

The goals of the F.R.E.S.H. project are to:

  • reduce the burden of tobacco exposures,
  • improve access to preventive health care, and
  • reduce the risk for tobacco-caused diseases among African American women and children living in rural Arkansas Delta counties.

Why are we doing this research study?

• Smoking among African American women in Arkansas is higher than what we see among African American women nationwide.
• African Americans, those who live in poverty, and adults who did not receive a high school diploma are more exposed to secondhand smoke than other people.
• Smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) are harmful to you and your family.
• Smoking any kind of tobacco (such as cigarettes or cigars) can cause lung and many other cancers, heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) and other chronic illnesses.
• Smoking increases the risk for asthma, ear infections, respiratory illness, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and other illnesses in children.
• The good news is that smoke-free policies in the home can help reduce tobacco exposures, increase quit attempts, and help women get off cigarettes and cigars

What are the phases of this study?

Phase I. Conduct interviews with African American women smokers, non-smokers and community health workers to understand barriers and facilitators that influence tobacco use and policy practices. This part of the study will be conducted in Desha and Chicot counties.

Phase II. Develop the program and train community health workers to deliver the program.

Phase III. Implement the full program in Lee and Phillips counties over a 12-month period. We will see how well the program increases the implementation of tobacco policies in the home and quitting smoking.

What is the potential impact of this study?

The study can help us learn more about the role that community health workers can play in helping women keep their homes smoke-free. Ultimately, we hope to improve health outcomes for African American women, children, and their families in Arkansas.


Pebbles Fagan, PhD, MPH
Keneshia Bryant-Moore, PhD, RN
Naomi Cottoms, BA
Anna Huff Davis, MPH
Katherine Donald, BA
Ping Ching Hsu, PhD
Margarete Kulik, PhD
Joseph Su, PhD


Richard Tatum
Candace Taylor, MPH


The F.R.E.S.H. project is part of a larger center grant funded to the from this study are from the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services.

(#5U54MD002329-12). Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences is one of 12 academic institutions funded to across the nation to address minority health and reduce health disparities.

Resources for Quitting


Secretan B, Straif K, Baan R, et al.; WHO IARC Monograph Working Group. A review of human carcinogens—Part E: tobacco, areca nut, alcohol, coal smoke, and salted fish. Lancet Oncol. 2009;10(11):1033-1034.

This study is funded by the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities,
National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services