Background: Smoking cessation interventions in pregnancy could influence a woman's social behaviour and her partner's smoking behaviour, but this has not been examined in any published randomized trials.
Method: 918 women smoking at booking for antenatal care were enrolled in a cluster-randomized trial of three interventions: standard care, self-help manual and enhanced stage-based counselling, or self-help manual, enhanced stage-based counselling and use of an interactive computer program. The outcomes were change in social support received by women between booking for maternity care and 30 weeks gestation and 10 days postpartum and reported cessation in the woman's partner at these times.
Results: Few pregnant women's partners stopped smoking (4.1% at 30 weeks of gestation and 5.8% at 10 days postpartum) and the probability of quitting did not differ significantly by trial arm. Women's scores on the Inventory of Socially Supportive Behaviors showed a slight decline from booking to 30 weeks gestation, and a slight increase to 10 days postpartum, but these changes did not differ significantly by trial arm.
Conclusion: The stage-based interventions tested in this trial aimed partly to influence women's mobilization of support and might have influenced partners' quitting, but there was no evidence that they did so. Given that women and their partners often stopped smoking together, future interventions to prevent smoking in pregnant women could encourage both partners to quit together.