Smoking in Pregnancy and Early Years: Social Marketing Project Report
Summary of findings
Barriers that prevent pregnant mothers from stopping smoking include;
• Time involved in attempting to stop
• Effort involved in stopping
• Peer pressure from family and friends who smoke
• Influence of other women who continued to smoke during pregnancy and gave birth to healthy babies
• Enjoyment of smoking – ‘me time’ – perceived as one of the few things they can do for themselves which helps alleviate stress
Perceived benefits include;
• Self esteem – taking control of their lives
• Stress management which would include building in ‘me time’ to their lives
• Feeling good, looking good
• Saving money
Pregnant women would like a stop-smoking service that can;
• be very locally based;
• be in an informal, supportive and non-judgmental environment;
• invite them to participate in the service – not force or push them into going, avoiding words like ‘refer’;
• run through the day and/or early evenings to enable them to attend outside of the times when their children need them most (i.e. school drop-off/pick-up and bedtime);
• promote ‘me time’ which would be crucial in terms of how the service was ‘sold’;
• offer group sessions which were relaxed, informal and based on ‘slimming world’ or ‘weight watchers’ concept, with ‘role model’ clients who would share experiences and who had been in similar situations;
• be flexible in response to their individual needs and provide a choice of groups, one-to-one contact – or combination of methods.
To explore what it is like to be a pregnant smoker in Stoke on Trent;
• identify the factors that influence the behaviour of pregnant smokers in Stoke on Trent;
• develop a better understanding of the barriers to accessing existing services;
• improve our communications with key stakeholders who could influence women who were smoking in pregnancy; and
• to review and redesign the “Quit for a New Life” Stop Smoking Service based on customer insight and develop an intervention that meets the needs of the client group.
In 2007, ten learning demonstration sites were set up by the National Social Marketing Centre with funding from the Department of Health. The aim of which was to help local areas apply and integrate social marketing into their programmes and strategies, whilst helping to develop a robust evidence base for social marketing. The learning demonstration sites are also a key component of the Department of Health’s ‘Ambitions for Health’ strategic framework to build capacity and skills in applying social marketing principles to health interventions.
The learning demonstration sites were based in Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) and local authorities across the country and addressed a wide range of health issues.
The Me2, quit for a new life pilot project in Stoke-on-Trent was one of the demonstration sites selected for the programme, which aimed to reduce smoking prevalence among pregnant mothers.
The smoking in pregnancy and early years social marketing pilot project was one of ten learning demonstration sites, set up by the National Social Marketing Centre with funding from DH, to build capacity and skills in applying social marketing principles to health interventions. This pilot aimed to reduce smoking prevalence among pregnant mothers.
Data collection methodology