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Postpartum Period Good Time to Help Parents Quit Smoking

Smoking cessation intervention during postpartum hospital stay may aid parents to quit

MONDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- The immediate postpartum hospital stay presents a good opportunity for a health intervention to encourage smoking parents to quit, according to a study published online Feb. 1 in Pediatrics.

Jonathan P. Winickoff, M.D., of the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues conducted a study of 101 parents who were current smokers or recent quitters, of whom 48 were randomized to receive a smoking cessation intervention, while 53 formed the control group.

The intervention group all received a counseling session in hospital, with a fax sent to the parent's primary care provider in 94 percent of cases and 75 percent accepting quitline enrollment. Among 36 current smokers who could be reached at follow-up, the authors note that 64 percent reported 24-hour quit attempts versus 18 percent in the control group.

"The clustering of births at hospitals in the United States allows access to tobacco treatment for families at the critical moment of postpartum hospitalization," the authors write. "The Newborns Excel Without Secondhand Smoke intervention strategy would be transportable to any state with a fax to quit program and would encourage delivery of evidence-based tobacco control in the postpartum setting."

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