Using air-quality feedback to encourage disadvantaged parents to create a smoke-free home: Results from a randomised controlled trial



Semple S, Turner S, O'Donnell R, Adams L, Henderson T, Mitchell S, Lyttle S & Amos A (2018) Using air-quality feedback to encourage disadvantaged parents to create a smoke-free home: Results from a randomised controlled trial. Environment International, 120, pp. 104-110.

Objective To determine if low-cost air-quality monitors providing personalised feedback of household second-hand smoke (SHS) concentrations plus standard health service advice on SHS were more effective than standard advice in helping parents protect their child from SHS. Design A randomised controlled trial of a personalised intervention delivered to disadvantaged mothers who were exposed to SHS at home. Changes in household concentrations of fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) were the primary outcome. Methods Air-quality monitors measured household PM2.5 concentrations over approximately 6 days at baseline and at one-month and six-months post-intervention. Data on smoking and smoking-rules were gathered. Participants were randomised to either Group A (standard health service advice on SHS) or Group B (standard advice plus personalised air-quality feedback). Group B participants received personalised air-quality feedback after the baseline measurement and at 1-month. Both groups received air-quality feedback at 6-months. Results 120 mothers were recruited of whom 117 were randomised. Follow up was completed after 1-month in 102 and at 6-months in 78 participants. There was no statistically significant reduction in PM2.5 concentrations by either intervention type at 1-month or 6-months, nor significant differences between the two groups at 1-month (p = 0.76) and 6-month follow-up (p = 0.16). Conclusions Neither standard advice nor standard advice plus personalised air-quality feedback were effective in reducing PM2.5 concentrations in deprived households where smoking occurred. Finding ways of identifying homes where air-quality feedback can be a useful tool to change household smoking behaviour is important to ensure resources are targeted successfully.

Environmental Tobacco Smoke; Second-hand Smoke; Children; PM2.5; Education; Intervention

Environment International: Volume 120

FundersChief Scientist Office
Publication date30/11/2018
Publication date online01/08/2018
Date accepted by journal26/07/2018

People (2)


Dr Rachel O'Donnell

Dr Rachel O'Donnell

Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Social Marketing

Professor Sean Semple

Professor Sean Semple

Professor, Institute for Social Marketing