• smoking;
  • tobacco;
  • perinatal;
  • intervention;
  • community intervention;
  • nursing

Background.  Up to 70% of women who quit smoking while pregnant will relapse during the first postnatal year. In this study, a community-based, ecological approach guided the development and implementation of a smoking cessation intervention for perinatal women.

Aims.  The aims of this pilot project were to: (1) develop and implement a community-based intervention to assist women to stop smoking or prevent smoking relapse during the pre- and postnatal periods, (2) provide feedback on participants’ perceptions of the helpfulness of the intervention, (3) compare perceptions of the helpfulness of the intervention between women who received the intervention during the prenatal vs. postnatal periods, and (4) identify additional components of the intervention which need to be included in future research.

Design/methods.  Using a participative process and a detailed review of the literature, researchers, health care professionals and women (pregnant or postnatal) developed a multifaceted intervention. The intervention included four core components, which all women received: home visit by the intervention nurse, follow-up telephone call(s), resource package, and letter of congratulations. Additional optional components included: telephone help line, support groups, referrals and other services. Forty-two women who were pregnant or had recently delivered participated. Descriptive and evaluation data were collected from participants using questionnaires and telephone interviews. The research was approved by the university Research Ethics Board.

Findings.  Participants found the core components of the intervention to be helpful in their smoking cessation goals, particularly the home visit and resource material. The support groups and smoking help line were not used. There were no differences in how helpful the components of the intervention were perceived to be between women who received it in the prenatal or postnatal periods.

Conclusions.  Future research is needed to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention.