"Our overall goal is to bring evidence-based, effective tobacco control measures into the pediatric setting," says Jonathan Winickoff, MD, MPH of the MGH Center for Child and Adolescent Health Policy, the lead author of both reports. "Most physicians treating children are not currently intervening effectively with parents about smoking, and our research has shown that doing so is both feasible and welcomed by the parents."
The research team, which includes a physician from Boston Children's Hospital, had previously published a study showing that a child's hospitalization for respiratory illness was a good occasion for offering stop-smoking services to parents. One of the current studies was designed to see if outpatient-visit counseling could lead to the same results.
During a four-month period, parents or other adults bringing a child to a Children's Hospital outpatient clinic for respiratory illness or other conditions related to tobacco smoke were asked about their own smoking habits. Those who reported smoking were invited to participate in the Stop Tobacco Outreach Program (STOP), a free service including a motivational interview, nicotine replacement, follow-up phone counseling and referrals to both their primary care physicians and to the Massachusetts Smokers Quitline.
Of 100 parents enrolling in the program, 78 percent accepted nicotine replacement therapy, and 81 percent completed both the in-person and telephone counsel
Contact: Sue McGreevey
Massachusetts General Hospital