Encouraging smoking cessation during pregnancy in West Virginia: using Fax-to-Quit as a cessation strategy
Despite known dangers of smoking, a majority of pregnant women continue to smoke or relapse following delivery. West Virginia women have high unmet needs for smoking cessation, and the prenatal period presents a critical and unique opportunity for education and quitting assistance. West Virginia's Fax-to-Quit program uses provider-faxed referrals to the Quitline to engage smokers and connect them with cessation services. A 12-month feasibility evaluation of this Fax-to-Quit program for pregnant women was conducted. In February 2009, providers and staff from three OB/GYN clinics in three adjoining West Virginia counties were recruited. All participating sites received an intensive half-day training program. Adult pregnant smokers receiving prenatal care in these OB/GYN clinic sites were eligible to participate. Recruitment sites screened pregnant women for smoking; assessed readiness-to-quit; and enrolled consenting participants in the Fax-to-Quit Program. The Quitline measured cessation attempts with six-month follow-up of enrolled participants. Between March-December 2009, 58 referrals were made at these OB/GYN clinic sites, with 15 women (25.9%) enrolling in Quitline services. These enrolled women account for approximately one-quarter of calls from pregnant smokers to the West Virginia Quitline in the past 12 months. Contact, communication, and cooperation with office staff were relevant and important to successful project implementation. Findings indicate that Fax-to-Quit is feasible to engage providers and pregnant smokers with the West Virginia Quitline. Successful referrals and enrollment demonstrate Fax-to-Quit may support cessation by increasing Quitline use and connecting pregnant women who smoke with quitting services through provider-faxed referrals to the West Virginia Quitline.
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