Giving infants a Great Start: Launching a national smoking cessation program for pregnant women

Lyndon Haviland, Amber Hardy Thornton, Sharon Carothers, Lisa Hund, Jane Appleyard Allen, Bev Kastens, Alison Wojciak, Laura Hamasaka, Cheryl G. Healton

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Data suggest that 12%-22% of women smoke during pregnancy. The link between smoking during pregnancy and adverse health and reproductive outcomes has been well documented. Great Start is a public education and smoking cessation program developed especially for pregnant women. Launched in December 2001, Great Start was the first national program focused on providing free and confidential smoking cessation counseling to pregnant women through a toll-free quitline. Great Start consisted of a media campaign to raise awareness and direct women to telephone counseling tailored for the pregnant smoker, and educational materials designed to support pregnant women through cessation counseling. The program was evaluated to assess the ability of the television ads to reach pregnant smokers and the effectiveness of a quitline for increasing cessation rates among pregnant women. Great Start demonstrates that it is possible to reach pregnant smokers through television ads that provide information about the consequences of smoking while pregnant, are affirming in tone, and provide direction for women to take action. Initial response to the program indicates that pregnant women want to quit and confirms the need for programs designed specifically to address the needs of this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S181-S188
JournalNicotine and Tobacco Research
Issue numberSUPPL. 2
StatePublished - Apr 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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