New Study


Disseminating and Implementing a Smoking Cessation Program for Pregnant and Postpartum Women.
First Breath (FB) is a program administered by the Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation (WWHF) to help pregnant women quit smoking. While FB is successful helping women quit during pregnancy, it is unable to provide support after a woman delivers. This is very unfortunate because about 85% of women relapse and resume smoking when they return home with their new infant. Recently, UW-CTRI partnered with WWHF on a new program, Striving to Quit (STQ), to address this gap in FB by extending the program to help the new mother stay quit after she returns home with her baby. STQ was conducted as a rigorous research study. Unknown is whether STQ will produce similarly positive outcomes when disseminated and implemented in more real-world contexts. This grant is designed to address these issues. Specifically, it will: 

  1. Evaluate STQ in more real-world settings.
  2. See if STQ produces better outcomes than FB.
  3. Identify barriers to expanding STQ throughout Wisconsin so more pregnant women who smoke can benefit. 

WWHF and UW-CTRI will continue their productive partnership for this project. In addition, four key stakeholder groups will be involved throughout the project:


  1. Most importantly, women enrolled in STQ will serve in focus groups that will provide candid guidance and feedback regarding smoking cessation education materials, challenges to maintaining smoke-free homes, perceptions of the intervention, unmet needs, and barriers to staying quit. 
  2. Discussion groups with current FB Providers will identify key clinical barriers to dissemination. This will be followed by a statewide survey to all FB Providers. 
  3. Health Educators who will deliver STQ will be observed to ensure that the program is delivered as designed. Results of interviews with these Health Educators will be used to develop statewide training materials. 
  4. Stakeholders who set state policies and payment structures will form a “Sustainability Planning Committee” because their decisions are key to securing sustained statewide financial support of STQ. 

This project aims to have a substantial impact on the greatest preventable cause of poor birth outcomes in Wisconsin. Researchers expect the findings to inform public policies regarding the need to embrace smoking-cessation programs that begin during pregnancy and extend them into the postnatal period. October 2016-March 2018. $150,000. Funded by University of Wisconsin Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (UW-ICTR). Dr. Michael Fiore, PI. Lisette Kahlil, WWHF Community Partner Lead.