Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Prev Med. 2003 Dec;37(6 Pt 1):617-26.

A randomized trial of a family-based smoking prevention intervention in managed care.

Author information

  • 1Center for Health Studies, Group Health Cooperative, Seattle, WA, USA.



Each day more than 2000 youth under age 18 become daily smokers and the age of tobacco initiation has been going down. Health care settings can partner with families to encourage parent-child interactions that prevent youth tobacco use. This study evaluates a smoking prevention intervention package for parents and children (aged 10-12) provided through their managed care organization.


A two-arm (usual care vs intervention) randomized trial was employed. The intervention included a mailed parental smoking prevention kit, outreach follow-up telephone calls to the parent by a health educator, child materials, medical record cues for physicians to deliver prevention messages, and parent newsletter. Outcome measures were susceptibility to smoking, experimentation with smoking, and smoking in the past 30 days as assessed by 20-month follow-up surveys of children.


A total of 4,026 families enrolled in the study. The response rate to the 20-month follow-up was 88%. There were no significant effects of the intervention on any of the primary outcomes. The intervention was associated with modest but statistically significant increases in parent-child discussions of smoking related topics.


A minimal-intensity family-based prevention program did not significantly reduce rates of susceptibility or tobacco use among youth aged 10-12 at baseline and 11 to 14 at follow-up. Development and evaluation of innovative approaches to tobacco use prevention must continue, despite our disappointing results. Parents and health care systems are too important to abandon as channels for prevention messages.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk