Examining characteristics associated with quitting smoking during pregnancy and relapse postpartum

Farnaaz Kia, Nicole Tosun, Samantha Carlson, Sharon S Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Introduction Smoking during pregnancy is a significant public health concern that can cause adverse health outcomes for both the mother and fetus. Studies have shown only 40% of women quit smoking during pregnancy, with more than half relapsing within 6 months, and up to 90% relapsing within one year. This study investigates differences in demographics and smoking-related symptomatology between pregnant smokers and pregnant quitters, as well as factors associated with postpartum relapse. Methods Data on pregnant smokers and pregnant quitters were obtained from two separate parent studies. Data on smoking demographics and smoking-related symptomatology were collected at screening visits. Results Compared to pregnant smokers, pregnant quitters had more favorable smoking characteristics (e.g., smoked fewer cigarettes per day, reported higher motivation for abstinence and less dependency). They also had more favorable relationship characteristics (e.g., were more likely to be married, less likely to have a significant other who smokes) and had less reproductive liability (e.g., fewer pregnancies, fewer children). In terms of symptomatology, pregnant quitters reported more positive affect, negative affect, physical symptoms and withdrawal but less craving. Predictors of postpartum relapse included increased maternal age, having a significant other who smokes and an increased likelihood of returning to smoking after pregnancy (self-reported prior to delivery). Conclusions Several demographics and smoking-related symptomatology were significantly different between pregnant quitters and pregnant smokers. In addition, multiple factors predicting postpartum relapse were identified. This information can inform personalized interventions for high risk pregnant smokers and pregnant quitters at risk for postpartum relapse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)114-119
Number of pages6
JournalAddictive Behaviors
StatePublished - Mar 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for this study provided by NIDA grant numbers R21 DA034840 and R01 DA008075 . Support also provided by Research Services, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, Medical School, University of Minnesota and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health - Award Number UL1TR000114 . The content of this manuscript is solely the responsibility of the authors and the funding source had no role in the study design, collection, analysis or interpretation of the data, writing the manuscript, or the decision to submit the paper for publication.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd


  • Cessation
  • Pregnancy
  • Relapse prevention
  • Smoking


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