Smoke exposure in preterm infants can cause adverse health outcomes in these children. Preterm infants exposed to tobacco smoke have an increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and metabolic syndrome, asthma, respiratory infections, ear infections and decreased cognitive function compared to healthy infants (Wilson 2011, Blizzard 2003, Bock 2008, Hutchison 1998). A smoking cessation program for parents of pre-term infants at Aultman Hospital in Canton, Ohio was designed to help parents of pre-term infants cease smoking behavior. The outcomes of this program were intended to be the topic of my honors thesis; however, lack of participation in the program shifted my research focus to designing a program, based on a review of "best practices" in the literature, that might increase participation. Among those parents who were asked to participate (N=56), being of low socioeconomic status correlated highest with smoking behavior . Through a literature review, I determined that the best practices to enhance participation for this group would be to include motivational interviewing, the phone number to a toll free quit line, and alternate smoking resources (pamphlets, alternative DVD's) for these Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) parents at Aultman. By the parent's participation in the Aultman smoking cessation program, long-term health outcomes of their newborns may improve by reducing their exposure to tobacco smoke. These children may grow up in an environment with less smoke exposure, which may decrease their risk of disease (Bock 2008).
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