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Be Part of Research this New Year

2023-12-28T10:29:13+00:00Thursday 28 December 2023|
  • The SNAP3 research study is open to mums-to-be who smoke

Researchers supporting a study focusing on smoking mums-to-be are hoping to recruit more Walsall participants as the New Year beckons.

SNAP3 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.

The team is asking smoking mums-to-be to consider being part of this research study that looks at using Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) to help them quit.

Hannah Cook, Clinical Research Midwife at the Trust, said the New Year was often a time where people considered breaking habits and making changes.

She is supporting this study at Walsall Manor Hospital with site Principal Investigator Mr Amr Farag, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist. Rob Chadwick, Senior Research Nurse and Ben Jones, Registered Clinical Research Practitioner, 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: “This is an important study that will help us to better understand how we can support mums-to-be to become smoke-free.

“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 investigating different approaches and methods is a valuable exercise.”

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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