Participant Information

If I decide to take part in the First Steps to Smoke Free project, what will happen next?

Your First Steps worker will come to see you at your house for 45 minutes on three visits over 6 months to give you ideas on how to protect your child from second-hand smoke. Before each visit we will measure the air quality in your home using a small monitor which we would put in your living room for about a week. . We will collect the monitor and analyse the air quality information.

How many visits will there be?

There will be a total of 9 visits but 6 of these will simply involve 10 minutes to put the monitor in your home or pick it up again. The other 3 visits will provide you with some advice on how to protect your child from second-hand smoke and ask you to complete a simple questionnaire. We are happy to arrange the visits at times that suit you.

To test how effective this new service is half of the participants in the study (group B) will receive details of their air quality as soon as it has been measured while the other half (group A) will receive the normal advice and information we provide. Group A will receive details of their air quality measurements towards the end of the study.

First visit

At the first visit we will do two things:

  1. Go over a short questionnaire with you asking about when and where smoking takes place in your home.
  2. Place a small machine in your living room to measure the quality of the air in the room. This will be left on for 24 hours each day for between 3 and 7 days. The machine is the size of a small shoe box and makes a quiet humming noise. The device costs about 10p per day to run from your mains electricity but we will give you a £10 shopping voucher when you complete the first set of measurements and a further £20 voucher if you complete the next two sets of measurements.

Second visit

We will collect the machine. This should only take 5 minutes of your time.

Third visit

A couple of days later we will come back and discuss the effects of second-hand smoke with you and look at ways that we can help you protect your child from the harmful effects of tobacco smoke. If you are in group B then you will also receive the results of the measurements the machine has made.

We will repeat these three visits about 1 month later and then about 6 months later. If you are in group A you will receive the results of the measurements at the 6-month follow-up visit.

Final visit

Shortly after you have completed the final measurements and received feedback on the air quality in your home you may be invited to take part in a short interview with a member of the research team. This will take about 30 minutes and will give you a chance to talk about your experience of the service. This interview will be audio recorded and anonymised quotes may be used in the report and publications from this study.

What are the possible risks of taking part?

There are none.

Are there any possible benefits?

We hope that you will find the information we provide during your involvement with this new service is useful in reducing your child’s exposure to passive smoke.

Do I have to take part?

No. It is up to you to decide whether to take part. You are still free to withdraw at any time and without giving a reason. A decision to withdraw at any time, or a decision not to take part, will not affect the standard of care you receive.

What will happen to my results and the information I give in the interview at the end?

All the information collected about you will be kept strictly confidential to the researchers in the study. Your name and contact details will be kept securely by the First Steps Programme. We will share our results with other health workers but you will not be identified in any report or publication.

Who is organising and funding this work?

This work is being delivered through the First Steps programme and funded by the Scottish Government’s Chief Scientist Office.

What if I want to complain?

If you have any concerns about any aspect of the way you have been approached or treated during the course of this work, the normal National Health Service complaints mechanisms are available to you. Alternatively if you wish to talk to someone who is not directly involved with the project but knows about this type of study, you can contact: Prof Graham Devereux (University of Aberdeen) on 01224 558196 or

Who do I contact if I have any questions about my involvement or for further information?

Please speak to your First Steps worker in the first instance or contact Susan Lyttle on 01698 201426 or by email at

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