Study objectives were to compare smoking cessation rates between parents in the newborn nursery (NBN) versus the NICU and compare acceptance of referral to the New York State Smoker’s Quitline (NYSSQL) between the 2 units. Secondary aims were to identify opportunities for improved smoking cessation interventions with parents of newborns.


From January through December 2013, smoking parents/caregivers of infants in the NBN and NICU (n = 226) completed a 34-item questionnaire. For those who accepted electronic referral to the NYSSQL, participation/outcome data and questionnaire data were matched. Relationships were examined using the χ2 test of independence.


The majority of respondents had cut back (56%) or quit (36%) prenatally. Seventy-nine percent of NBN parents accepted referred to the NYSSQL versus 53% of NICU parents; odds ratio = 3.31 (1.48–7.40; P < .01). At 7- to 8-month follow-up (n = 35): 11 of 28 (NBN) versus 0 of 7 (NICU) quit, 11 of 28 (NBN) versus 5 of 7 (NICU) cut back, 6 of 28 (NBN) versus 2 of 7 (NICU) did not quit/cut back (P = .13). Significantly more mothers (80%; 16/20) compared with fathers (46%; 6/13) quit/cut back, 20% (4/20) of mothers versus 54% (7/13) of fathers did not quit/cut back (P = .04). Exclusive formula-feeding rates were higher in this cohort of smokers surveyed than in all parents of infants admitted to the NBN/NICU for the same year (45% vs 13%).


In this study population, parents of healthy newborns were more receptive to quitline referrals than parents of infants admitted to the NICU.

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