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Study aimed at pregnant smokers

2023-03-08T12:11:12+00:00Wednesday 8 March 2023|
  • The team that is supporting the research study with smoking mums-to-be

Smoking mums-to-be in Walsall are being offered the chance to take part in a research study that looks at using Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) to help them quit.

SNAP-3 is a smoking cessation study being conducted by the University of Nottingham, with Professor Tim Coleman as Lead Investigator.

Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust’s FORCE (Faculty of Research and Clinical Education) Team is recruiting participants to take part, working with Specialist Stop Smoking Advisors.

Hannah Cook, Clinical Research Midwife at the Trust, explained that site Principal Investigator is Mr Amr Farag, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist. Rob Chadwick, Senior Research Nurse and Ben Jones, Registered Clinical Research Practitioner, are supporting the study with Hannah through Walsall Healthcare’s Research and Development Team.

It is open to mums-to-be who are less than 25 weeks pregnant and who smoke more than five cigarettes a day.

Hannah said: “Stopping smoking is potentially the most important change that parents can make to protect their baby – there is no doubt that smoking can cause harm and affect a baby’s health.

“We know that it can be a hard habit to break which is why we’re proud to be a part of this study that looks at how we support mums-to-be to become smoke-free. “

NRT, such as nicotine patches, used with behavioural support, has been shown to be effective in helping people to quit smoking. There is less evidence of NRT being effective in pregnancy.

Nicotine preloading (starting NRT while gradually reducing the number of cigarettes smoked), has been found further to help people who were not pregnant to quit smoking. The NHS currently advises that pregnant women should not use NRT if they smoke, ‘not even a puff’, however some research suggests that allowing women to preload (smoke and use NRT at the same time) could help them stop smoking more successfully.

The SNAP3 trial will carefully test if relaxing the ‘not a puff’ rule in three different ways could help pregnant women to quit.

Hannah added; “We are working in collaboration with Carol Shepherd and Wendy Salisbury, our Specialist Stop Smoking Advisors in Maternity and have also asked our colleagues in the Early Bird clinic to help spread the word.

“The study is running until June 2025 and our recruitment target is up to three participants per month although more than that would be brilliant.”

Those who take part will be randomised into one of two groups:

Group one will be referred straight back to Walsall’s Smoking in Pregnancy Services to start their smoking cessation journey.

Group two will receive a course of NRT (in the form of patches) before they start their journey with Walsall’s Smoking in Pregnancy Services.

Potential participants are asked to get in touch via email at

 The study is funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment Fund.


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