MDQuit's Smoke-free Families Meeting


We would like to thank all of the presenters and attendees for making our smoke-free families meeting a great success!

 Dr. Carlo C. DiClemente
   Keynote AddressHome Policy and Partner Interventions for Smoke-free Families

 Dr. Cynthia Rand
   Keynote Address: Implementing a Second-Hand Smoke Reduction Intervention for Head Start

 Dr. Bradley Collins
   Keynote AddressStrategies to Reduce Child Exposure to 2nd- and 3rd-hand Smoke: Multi-level Approaches in Underserved Populations


Meeting Summary:

On June 10, 2014, local health departments, healthcare professionals, academics, and Department of Health and Mental Hygiene staff gathered at the BWI Marriott Hotel to gain new information and stimulate innovations to promote smoke-free families in Maryland.

There were three presentations by keynotes speakers in the morning, including Dr. Carlo DiClemente (UMBC), Dr. Cynthia Rand (Johns Hopkins), and Dr. Bradley Collins (Temple University).

In the afternoon session, participants split into groups, and brainstormed ideas about how to access family smokers and connect them with innovative, effective interventions to protect families from first, second, and third hand smoke. Below, you will find the most promising ideas generated, organized according to the service delivery point or type of program or setting where each idea could be put into practice.

We hope that you will try some of these innovations, and pilot more of your own, to keep the momentum going for the goal of making smoke-free homes and families a reality in Maryland.

Ideas listed by setting:

  • Home visiting programs
  • Community settings
  • Local health departments
  • WIC
  • Pediatrician offices/other medical settings
  • Labor and delivery/postpartum wards
  • Pharmacies
  • Residential programs for women
  • Childcare/daycare
  • High schools
  • Work settings
  • Local government

In home visiting programs:

  • Don’t underestimate the power of community outreach/education. These messages can change individuals’ and families’ lives/trajectories!
  • Offer greater amounts of Medicaid reimbursement and coverage for smoking cessation education, outreach, and home visiting
  • Encourage home visitors to address home smoking bans and second and third hand smoke during their visits and hand out educational materials/make referrals
  • Explore whether home visitors could be F2A providers; If so Encourage use of tobacco Quitline fax referral programs (F2A) among home visitors
  • Use phone-based motivational interviewing smoking cessation interventions instead of or in addition to home-based MI interventions, as these may be more sustainable in the long run, and just as effective
  • Provide parents with feedback such as: “Your child’s exposure to second and thirdhand smoke is equivalent to him/her smoking X number of cigarettes.”
  • Create smoke-free kid zones in houses (i.e. one room at a time until the whole house is smoke-free)
  • Offer free spring cleaning to families who quit for at least 30 days

Community settings:

  • Use community agencies and faith-based groups to reach out to families
  • Reach out to groups who work with lactating women
  • Reach out to groups giving baby showers
  • Access families at multiple locations: children’s toy stores, WIC, pharmacists, etc.
  • Include all shops/outlets/providers in a given community in smoking cessation efforts
  • Create a National Smoke-Free Week

Local health departments:

  • Institute a couples’ date night at local health departments/other venues to have couples try new activities together e.g. acupuncture, spa night etc. while receiving smoking cessation intervention; partner with local recreation centers so parents can drop off children for free babysitting during date night, like at a recreation center
  • Institute a family fun night at local health departments/other venues to promote both adult cessation and child education/prevention efforts


  • Go into WIC offices/waiting rooms to educate caregivers about the impact of smoking on children
  • Incentivize mothers to remain smoke-free postpartum (e.g. provide them with tiered discounts or WIC benefits based on time/months spent smoke-free)

Pediatricians’ offices/other medical settings:

  • Offer $5 off co-pays  or other incentives to parents at visits to pediatricians if parents agree to have their child’s cotinine level checked
  • Incorporate more messages about the dangers of smoking into SIDS education, messages, and videos
  • Encourage use of tobacco Quitline fax referral programs (F2A) among pediatricians
  • Educate providers at Patient First centers and give them detailing (posters, etc.) to raise awareness as many families are utilizing urgent care instead of doctor’s offices
  • Provide more comprehensive services for clients (have trained tobacco cessation educators available to provide consultation at doctor’s visit)
  • Have looped videos run about the impacts of smoking and benefits of quitting and educational posters in physician waiting rooms

Labor and delivery/postpartum wards:

  • Add questions to labor and delivery outtake questionnaires asking: Does anyone in your family smoke? And then refer/provide resources if yes.
  • Keep count in labor and delivery of how many babies are going to smoke-free homes (similar to current count of accident-free days) to motivate providers
  • Create an interactive kiosk to educate people, like in the delivery waiting room where family members can see messages during down time


·         Utilize pharmacists to talk to parents who are picking up asthma medications for their children

Residential programs for women:

  • Make some residential treatment/recovery facilities non-smoking
  • Organize a “buddy system” for smokers and non-smokers (or smokers alone) to partner in support and accountability for adjusting to the new no-smoking environment.
  • Address smoking with visitors who are often unaware or don’t abide by smoke-free policies

In the childcare/daycare setting:

  • Utilize childcare providers to educate and talk to parents
  • Create asthma-friendly childcare programs
  • Address staff smoking in childcare programs
  • Institute policies at daycare programs that require parents to have a smoke-free outfit for their children as a disincentive to smoke
  • Educate children in Head Start about secondhand smoke at their level; in one program children were given fans and taught to fan the smoke away at home
  • Teach tools to children to protect themselves and talk to their parents
  • Empower children to educate their parents and motivate them to quit using love, guilt, etc.
  • Have children bring home education materials to their parents
  • Have children write letters to their parents asking them to quit; create a contest for best letter
  • Educate/certify daycare providers and teachers on promoting smoke-free homes
  • Provide education at back to school night

High schools:

  • Partner with teen pregnancy programs in high schools to provide smoking cessation interventions
  • Provide education at back to school night

Work settings:

  • Reduce health insurance premiums for three months while clients are trying to quit
  • Create alternatives to smoking
  • Shape smoke breaks/recognize triggers (e.g. ashtrays)

Local government:

  • Institute smoke-free bus stops
  • Have landlords give rebates on rent if tenants keep their apartment smoke-free (educate landlords that this would save them money since cleaning apartments of smokers is expensive)
  • Make cigarette packaging more alarming, as seen in Europe (i.e. “Don’t go near a child while using these”).