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Pediatric practices can offer smoking cessation assistance to parents of their patients
Date:6/24/2013

Finally some good news for parents who smoke: you may now be able to get help quitting from an unlikely source, your child's doctor. A study in the journal Pediatrics, which has been posted online, shows that it is feasible for pediatric practices to incorporate into their normal routine efforts to inform patients' parents about services available to help them quit smoking. A research team led by MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC) physicians describes how practices implementing a program through which parents who smoke receive assistance in quitting reached nearly half the smoking parents, while a control group not using the program helped only a few parents.

"We showed that it's possible to change traditional pediatric practice to address something new, helping our patients' parents get the help they need to quit smoking," says Jonathan Winickoff, MD, MPH, of the Center for Child and Adolescent Health Research and Policy at MGHfC, who led the study. "We started developing this program more than a decade ago and worked to make it easy to implement in practices across the country. It all came down to finding out what parents want to help them quit and then giving it to them."

Smoking exposes both parents and their children to significant health risks, the authors write, and many parents who smoke have limited access to medical services. In fact, studies have shown that many are more likely to see a physician in the context of care for their children than for their own health needs. Winickoff and his colleagues previously found that offering parents of pediatric patients the opportunity to participate in a smoking cessation program produced significant benefits. But since those studies were conducted at an academic medical center and carried out by specially-trained research staff, it was not clear if such a program would be practical at practices around the country.

Winickoff and his colleague adapted the pro
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Contact: Kory Dodd Zhao
kzhao2@partners.org
617-726-0274
Massachusetts General Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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