Background: Pediatric well-care visits provide a clinical opportunity to counsel new mothers about their smoking and the deleterious effects of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) on infant health.
Methods: Forty-nine Oregon pediatric offices enrolled 2,901 women who were currently smoking or had quit for pregnancy, using a brief survey at the newborn's first office visit. Randomly assigned offices provided advice and materials to mothers at each well-care visit during the first 6 months postpartum to promote quitting or relapse prevention.
Results: The intervention reduced smoking (5.9% vs 2.7%) and relapse (55% vs 45%) at 6-month follow-up, but logistic regression analysis at 12 months revealed no significant treatment effect. The intervention had a positive effect on secondary outcome variables, such as readiness to quit and attitude toward and knowledge of ETS. Multiple logistic regression analysis indicated that husband/partner smoking was the strongest predictor of maternal quitting or relapse.
Conclusions: A pediatric office-based intervention can significantly affect smoking and relapse prevention for mothers of newborns, but the effect decreases with time. Consistent prompting of the provider to give brief advice and materials at well-care visits could provide a low-cost intervention to reduce infant ETS exposure.