Background: Although smoking cessation programs significantly reduce smoking rates in the general population, some sectors are poorly motivated by them, especially healthy men from lower socioeconomic classes.
Methods: By using a significant life event (approaching birth of a child) we exploited a time of increased receptiveness to smoking cessation influences. A multicomponent intervention was conducted and evaluated using a stratified, randomised control trial, with an intention to treat analysis.
Results: Five hundred and sixty-one men were enrolled and 505 (90%) followed to the end of their partners' pregnancy. At 6-month follow-up 16.5% of 291 smokers of the intervention group and 9.3% of 270 in the control group reported they had stopped smoking (P=0.011, OR=0.52, 95% CI 0.31 - 0.86). The strongest predictors of smoking cessation were being in a skilled occupation, having a higher number of quit attempts in the previous year and having the first cigarette of the day relatively later.
Conclusions: The number of smoking men who had to be treated to achieve one stopping smoking (NNT) during their partner's pregnancy was 13 to 14. Innovative antismoking population health measures for the partners of antenatal patients are effective and perhaps should be more widely adopted.