One thing we found during the First Steps to Smoke-free project was that feedback could give participants useful information, and it could motivate people to make change, but that many participants just didn’t have the opportunity to smoke outside.
In both FS2SF and our recent AFRESH project, we’ve come up against the limits of the technology we’ve been using. Dylos DC1700 monitors perform well, but they can be difficult and time-consuming to download data from. That made it difficult to run interventions, as support workers needed to visit the participant many times to deliver and collect the monitor. Consequently, participants only ever receive information about their home once or twice, in the form of a printed report. That information can be days or even weeks old, which might make it seem less relevant and not as impactful as it could be.
To work on these challenges, we’re now beginning a new study with a different design to previous interventions. We intend to focus on people who have the opportunity to make change – those who don’t have an insurmountable barrier to smoking outside (such as living on the 13th floor of a high rise with no partner to help look after a child).
We’ve been testing a number of new internet-connected air quality monitors which will allow us to give immediate feedback to participants every day by SMS message. We’ll supplement that with emails about air quality each week and a phone call from a researcher, using material from the AFRESH study to explore ways to keep a smoke-free home. We hope that, over a 30 day period, this advice will help give participants a clearer picture of how smoking indoors can harm their children, and encourage them to take it right outside.
This study is part of the cross-EU TackSHS project, funded by the Horizon 2020 programme of the European Commission.