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Am J Health Promot. 2008 Sep-Oct;23(1):31-4. doi: 10.4278/ajhp.07043040.

Helping Chinese fathers quit smoking through educating their nonsmoking spouses: a randomized controlled trial.

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  • 1Department of Nursing Studies, University of Hong Kong, 4/F William M W Mong Block, 21 Sassoon Road, Pokfulam Hong Kong SAR, China.



Assess the effectiveness of a two-step health education program by nurses delivered through nonsmoking mothers to help fathers of sick children quit smoking.


Randomized, controlled trial.


General pediatric wards of four major hospitals in Hong Kong.


Nonsmoking mothers who had a live-in smoking spouse were recruited when they brought sick children to the hospital. A total of 752 mothers were randomized into the intervention arm and 731 into the control arm.


The intervention group received standardized health advice, behavior modification booklets, and a 1-week telephone reminder. The control group received usual care.


The main outcome measure was the quit rate (7-day point prevalence) of smoking fathers as determined by telephone follow-up with mothers at 3 and 12 months. Quit attempts and smoking reduction were secondary outcome measures.


At 3 months, more fathers in the intervention group had quit smoking (7.4% vs. 4.8%; p = .03), reduced daily cigarette consumption by 50% or more (30.6% vs. 22.6%; p < .001), and reported quit attempts (6.5% vs. 3.6%; p = .01). The differences were not statistically significant by 12 months.


A simple health education intervention provided by nurses to mothers of sick children has a short-term effect in helping smoking fathers quit, reduce consumption, and trigger quit attempts. Future studies should confirm the longer-term sustainability of the effect.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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