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Stop smoking projects for pregnant women and people faced with inequalities: evaluation of the impact of the PATH support Fund
Susan MacAskill, Senior Researcher, Institute for Social Marketing, University of Stirling and Open University,
Amanda Amos, Professor of Health Promotion, Public Health Sciences, Medical School, Teviot Place, Edinburgh
While smoking among adults is declining in the UK, key target groups, including pregnant women and disadvantaged groups, continue to present challenges in smoking cessation. In 2003 the Scottish Executive established a National Support Fund (around £0.9 million) to fund a range of projects which aimed to inform future cessation work with these groups. The fund was managed by Partnership Action on Tobacco and Health (PATH), which is also funded by the Scottish Executive and based in ASH Scotland. Eleven projects were funded for up to three years. The majority were interventions taking varying approaches with key groups (pregnant smokers, low income populations, mental health groups, prisoners, dental hospital patients). Three projects were more research based, focusing on ethnic minorities, older people and low income communities.
The presentation will outline the projects and describe key themes and findings from the external evaluation. The evaluation examined the delivery and impact of the programme at both local and national levels and encompassed process, outcome and programme impact. Overall promising approaches included exercise linked projects and the use of specialist cessation providers in pregnancy along with engagement of generalist midwives. Useful research tools were also developed. Key themes and issues included: quit rates and issues around data collection; additional positive impacts such as reduced smoking consumption, attracting hard to reach clients and engaging with other professionals; the importance of organisational issues and resources. Programme level issues included the difficulty of drawing lessons from diverse projects and projects which used flexible approaches.
Susan MacAskill: I am a Senior Researcher in the Centre for Tobacco Control Research and Institute for Social Marketing at the University of Stirling and the Open University. I joined the centre after working in primary care and health promotion. I have extensive experience in undertaking research in smoking cessation and wider tobacco control issues among a variety of key groups including disadvantaged and hard to reach communities and prison settings. Wider research interests include exploration and evaluation of interventions addressing health and social issues, incorporating a range of service user and other stakeholder perspectives.
Amanda Amos: I am Professor in Health Promotion in the Public Health Sciences section of the Division of Community Health Sciences at the University of Edinburgh. My research has focused on a range of smoking issues from the individual to community and societal levels including: the influence of the media on smoking, especially editorial and advertising messages and images in youth and women's magazines; smoking and disadvantage; community level initiatives on women, low income and smoking; smoking uptake and cessation in the mid-to-late teens; networking on women and tobacco in Europe. I am a member of the Board of the International Network of Women Against Tobacco (Europe) and a senior editor of the international journal Tobacco Control.
University of Stirling