Pregnant women who smoke and want to quit will receive personalised, ongoing support through a new pilot project.
Dr Mai Frandsen has just received a $95,000 Fellowship, awarded by Cancer Council Tasmania, in partnership with the University of Tasmania’s Faculty of Health.
Dr Frandsen is a researcher with the University’s School of Human Life Sciences.
Her project, Supporting expectant mothers to be smoke free, aims to recruit 100 pregnant women who are smoking daily and want to quit.
“My project will support pregnant women who want to quit and provide a smoke-free environment for their baby,” she said.
“The support will be personal, ongoing and tailored to the individual mothers.
“While helping expectant mothers to choose a quit plan to suit them, I will also focus on helping to establish a smoke-free environment for the new family.
“Providing a supportive smoke-free home has been found to be one of the most effective ways of helping mothers to quit, and stay quit.”
She said expectant mothers will be offered the opportunity to participate in the research when they attend scheduled antenatal appointments.
Cancer Council Tasmania CEO Penny Egan said Dr Frandsen’s project was critical for the future health of all Tasmanians.
“Dr Frandsen’s program will not just support the pregnant women to be smoke free and remain smoke free, but also look at their family environment,” she said.
“This is a very important project, because protecting pregnant women and their children from both smoking and passive smoking is critical to the overall health of the Tasmanian community.
Deputy Head of School Professor Dominic Geraghty said Dr Frandsen was the ideal researcher to undertake the study as she has been working in the smoking cessation field since completing her PhD in 2012.
Cancer Council Tasmania also announced further funding support including a $10,000 scholarship to Alexandra Woodworth from the University’s Menzies Research Institute Tasmania to undertake Honours.
(Source: University of Tasmania)