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Introduction: Many people quit smoking during pregnancy, but postpartum smoking relapse is common. Maintaining smoking abstinence achieved during pregnancy is key to improving maternal and child health. There are no evidence-based interventions for preventing postpartum smoking relapse. This trial aims to determine whether an intervention to prevent post-partum relapse is effective and cost-effective.

Methods and analysis: A randomised controlled trial of a complex intervention to prevent postpartum smoking relapse (BabybreatheTM), with internal pilot, economic and process evaluations. Participants are adults who are pregnant who report having quit smoking in the twelve months before, or during pregnancy. Participants are eligible if they read and understand English, and provide informed consent. Following consent and biochemical validation of smoking abstinence, participants are randomised to intervention or usual care/control (no specific relapse prevention support). The BabybreatheTM intervention consists of manualised advice from a trained member of the health visiting service, health information leaflets for participants and partners, access to the BabybreatheTM website and app. At the time of birth, participants are posted the Babybreathe box, and support is provided by text message for up to 12 months postpartum. Target sample size is 880, recruiting across midwifery services at four hubs in England and Scotland, and through remote advertising in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Outcomes are collected at 6 and 12 months. The primary outcome is self-reported sustained smoking abstinence at 12 months, carbon monoxide verified. Secondary outcomes include self-reported abstinence, time to relapse, partner smoking status and quality of life.

Ethics and dissemination: The trial was approved by the North West Preston Research Ethics committee (21/NW/0017). Dissemination will include publication in peer reviewed journals, presentation at academic and public conferences including PPI, and to policy makers and practitioners.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere076458
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number9
Early online date4 Sep 2023
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2023


  • Postpartum Period
  • Primary Health Care

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