The objective of this study was to test the feasibility and acceptability of introducing an intervention to address mothers' and fathers' smoking during the postpartum hospitalization.


During a 14-month period (February 2005 to April 2006), we assessed the smoking status of both parents of all newborns who were delivered at a hospital child birth center. Parents who were current smokers (1 cigarette, even a puff, in past 30 days) or recent quitters (smoked since 1 month before conception) were eligible for the study. Parents were assigned to intervention or usual care control condition on the basis of day of study enrollment. Smoking outcomes were assessed at 3 months by telephone survey and cotinine confirmation; quitline use was assessed at 3 months by using quitline database.


A total of 101 (64%) of 159 eligible parents enrolled in the study (n = 53 control subject, n = 48 intervention), including 72 (71%) current smokers and 29 (29%) recent quitters. All parents in the intervention group received the in-hospital counseling session, 94% had a fax sent to a provider, and 36 (75%) accepted quitline enrollment. In an intention-to-treat analysis that included both current smokers and recent quitters, self-reported 7-day abstinence decreased from 31% to 25% among intervention parents versus 38% to 23% among control subjects (effect size 9.4%; nonsignificant). Among current smokers at baseline who were reached at follow-up (n = 36), self-reported 24-hour quit attempts were higher in the intervention group versus control group (64% vs 18%; P = .005), whereas the cotinine-confirmed 7-day abstinence rates at follow-up were 9% in the intervention group and 3% in the control group (nonsignificant).


Enrolling mothers and fathers into tobacco treatment services during the immediate postpartum hospital stay is feasible and seems to stimulate quit attempts. The birth of an infant presents a teachable moment to reach both parents and to provide cessation assistance.

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