Increasing support for smoking cessation during pregnancy and postpartum: Results of a randomized controlled pilot study

Deborah J Hennrikus, Phyllis Pirie, Wendy L Hellerstedt, Harry A Lando, Jeanne Steele, Caroline Dunn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Objectives: We examined the feasibility and effectiveness of an intervention to mobilize women in the social networks of pregnant smokers to support smoking cessation. Methods: This study was conducted in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Columbus, Ohio, from 2005 through 2007. Pregnant smokers (n= 82) identified a woman in their social network to help them quit smoking. The resulting dyads were randomized to either intervention (n= 54) or control (n= 28) conditions. Supporters of intervention subjects received monthly contacts from a counselor about providing effective support; supporters in the control condition were not contacted. Interviews with subjects and supporters were conducted at baseline, end of pregnancy and 3 months postpartum. Results: Compared with control subjects, intervention group subjects reported that their supporters had provided support behaviors more frequently and were more committed to helping them quit. There was a non-significant trend for more validated quits in the intervention group at the end of pregnancy: 13.0% vs. 3.6% among the controls. Quit rates decreased to 9.3% in the intervention group and 0% in the control group at 3 months postpartum. Conclusions: Increasing the frequency and quality of support from a woman in the smoker's social network is a promising prenatal smoking cessation strategy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)134-137
Number of pages4
JournalPreventive medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was supported by funds from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (Grant No. 051798 ).

Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Pregnancy
  • Smoking cessation
  • Social environment
  • Social support


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