Tobacco and Alcohol Research
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Nicotine Replacement Effectiveness and Delivery in Pregnancy

This research programme, funded by the National Institute for Health Research, aims to develop and test effective ways to help women stop smoking during pregnancy including better use of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT).

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Why is this research important?

Most pregnant women want to stop smoking, but can find it hard. Over one in ten women still smoke every day throughout their pregnancy. NRT is available on the NHS for pregnant women who struggle to stop smoking using other methods, but most do not use it regularly or for long enough for it to work. We think that pregnant women who smoke are most likely to make use of NHS support if they find this relevant to them and easy to understand. Therefore, we want to come up with a tailored support package for pregnant women who smoke, which also improves use of NRT, to help them have the best chance of quitting.


First we hope to answers to the following research questions:

  • What does current evidence say about the safety of NRT in pregnancy?
  • What do pregnant women think about using NRT to help give up smoking?
  • What information do Stop Smoking Practitioners need to help them advise pregnant women about NRT?
  • How can Stop Smoking Practitioners best encourage pregnant women to use sufficient NRT and for long enough to help them stopping smoking?

Then we plan to develop an NRT stop smoking intervention for pregnant women; this would encourage pregnant women to use NRT more effectively along alongside other behavioural support. To do this we will need to also answer these questions: 

  • What would an optimum NRT stop smoking intervention for pregnant women look like?
  • Does the intervention help improve pregnant women’s use of nicotine replacement therapy?
  • Does the intervention help more pregnant women to stop smoking than current NHS stop smoking support?

If you would like to read more about the study, you can download the plain English summary.

About the N-READY programme

N-READY is a collaboration with researchers from the University of Nottingham, University of East Anglia, University of York, University of Stirling, St George’s University of London, University College London, University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris), and colleagues at Nottingham CityCare Partnership. It is hosted by Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

The programme will run for over six years, (July 2017 – April 2023), and is divided into four workstreams:


 N-READY Publications

Workstream 1: Discover

Comparison of nicotine exposure during pregnancy when smoking and abstinent with nicotine replacement therapy: systematic review and meta‐analysis.

Hickson C, Lewis S, Campbell KA, Berlin I, Claire R, Oncken C, Coleman-Haynes T, Coleman T.

First published: 13 October 2018 |Addiction




Darren Kinahan-Goodwin Programme Administrator T: 01157 484165   

Professor Tim Coleman Programme Lead T: 0115 823 0204

Dr Sue Cooper Programme Manager T: 01158 231898

Dr Lisa McDaid Senior Researcher, Norwich T: 01603 597766

Dr Ross Thomson Senior Researcher, Nottingham T: 01158 286677


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N-READY Workstreams


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Tobacco and Alcohol research

The University of Nottingham

email:Chris Hill