From 1998 to 1999, investigators at the Joseph L. Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, New York, developed a smoking-cessation program for ethnically diverse, low-income women who are pregnant.
Key Findings: During focus groups and interviews, the researchers found that:
- Women were interested in blood tests that could show the damage cigarette smoking causes to their DNA and its effect on their risk of cancer.
- The women were able to grasp the concepts inherent in the results of the blood/urine test and said they would be motivated to quit smoking when presented with evidence from the test that their exposure to cancer-causing substances had been reduced.
- Women are motivated to stop smoking to protect the health of their children.
- The researchers created a manual for physicians and a series of handouts for patients and physicians describing the blood tests to be performed, the dangers of smoking to health, tips for quitting smoking, and a stepwise process for helping patients quit.