The impact of tailored self-help smoking cessation guides on young mothers

Health Educ Q. 1992 Winter;19(4):495-504. doi: 10.1177/109019819201900412.


It has been suggested that tailoring self-help materials for specific target populations will increase their effectiveness. This study tested the value of a self-help guide tailored specifically for women with young children. These women were recruited through a media campaign that encouraged smokers to call the Cancer Information Service (CIS) for assistance in stopping smoking. Women smokers with young children (under the age of 6) who called the CIS were given telephone counseling on quitting and were mailed one of three stop smoking guides. One third of callers received Quitting Times, a guide written specifically for women with young children; one third received the American Lung Association guide, Freedom from Smoking for You and Your Family; and one third received Clearing the Air, a guide developed by the National Cancer Institute. Six months after calling the CIS, these women were contacted by telephone to assess changes in smoking behavior. Overall, 12.5% of the women reported not smoking for at least 1 week at the time of the 6-month follow-up interview. There were no significant differences between subjects in the three groups in use of the self-help guides, methods used to attempt quitting, and quitting behavior. Findings from this study do not support the hypothesis that using a tailored stop smoking guide increases the targeted audience's cessation rate or affects quitting-related behavior. However, it should be noted that the smokers who called were predominantly in the contemplation or action stages.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Mothers / education*
  • Pamphlets*
  • Programmed Instructions as Topic*
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Smoking Cessation / methods*
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / adverse effects


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution