Open Access Research article

School-based promotion of cessation support: reach of proactive mailings and acceptability of treatment in smoking parents recruited into cessation support through primary schools

Kathrin Schuck1*, Roy Otten1, Marloes Kleinjan1, Jonathan B Bricker23 and Rutger CME Engels1

Author Affiliations

1 Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen, Montessorilaan 3, P.O. Box 9104, 6500, HE Nijmegen, The Netherlands

2 Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 1100 Fairview Avenue, P.O. Box 19024, Seattle, WA 98109, USA

3 Department of Psychology, University of Washington, Box 351525, Seattle, WA 98195, USA

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Public Health 2013, 13:381  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-381

Published: 23 April 2013



Several forms of cessation support have been shown effective in increasing the chance of successful smoking cessation, but cessation support is still underutilized among smokers. Proactive outreach to target audiences may increase use of cessation support.


The present study evaluated the efficiency of using study invitation letters distributed through primary schools in recruiting smoking parents into cessation support (quitline support or a self-help brochure). Use and evaluation of cessation support among smoking parents were examined.


Findings indicate that recruitment of smokers into cessation support remains challenging. Once recruited, cessation support was well received by smoking parents. Of smokers allocated to quitline support, 88% accepted at least one counselling call. The average number of calls taken was high (5.7 out of 7 calls). Of smokers allocated to receive self-help material, 84% read at least some parts of the brochure. Of the intention-to-treat population, 81% and 69% were satisfied with quitline support or self-help material, respectively. Smoking parents were significantly more positive about quitline support compared to self-help material (p<.001).


Cessation support is well-received and well-used among smoking parents recruited through primary schools. Future studies need to examine factors that influence the response to offers of cessation support in samples of nonvolunteer smokers.

Trial registration

The protocol for this study is registered with the Netherlands Trial Register NTR2707