Objective-Radon and cigarette smoking have synergistic effects on lung canc
er, even when radon concentrations are relatively low. Working through an e
lectric utility company, we sought to reach smoking households with low rad
on concentrations and motivate smoking cessation or prohibiting smoking in
Design-Eligible homes (n = 714) were randomised to receive: (1) the Environ
mental Protection Agency's (EPA's) ((A citizen's guide to radon)); (2) a sp
ecially developed pamphlet; or (3) that pamphlet plus brief telephone couns
Procedure-Utility company "bill stuffers" offered free radon test kits to s
moking households. All households received radon test results with an expla
natory cover letter. Both the specially developed pamphlet and the telephon
e counselling emphasised that smoking cessation or prohibiting smoking in t
he home were the optimal risk reduction strategies. Households were followe
d up at 3 and 12 months after receiving materials.
Results-The specially developed pamphlet and the EPA guide yielded similar
outcomes. There was a non-significant trend for telephone counselling to pr
oduce greater sustained quitting than the specially developed pamphlet, and
phone counselling led to significantly more new household smoking bans.
Conclusions-Working through a public utility company is an efficient way to
reach smoking households, and brief telephone counselling is a promising m
ethod for promoting household smoking bans and cessation in homes alerted t
o the risk posed by the combination of radon and smoking.