Spontaneous smoking cessation during pregnancy among ethnic minority women: A preliminary investigation

Benjamin J. Morasco, Ellen A. Dornelas, Edward H. Fischer, Cheryl Oncken, Harry A. Lando

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


This study examined the postpartum relapse rates and characteristics of pregnant women who stopped smoking without professional intervention. Baseline characteristics of women who spontaneously quit were compared to women who continued to smoke. Women who spontaneously quit were also randomized to a psychotherapy relapse prevention treatment, or to usual care. The sample was ethnically diverse, containing 141 low-income women who were predominantly Hispanic, 23% (n = 33) of whom spontaneously quit smoking. The variables that significantly differentiated between "spontaneous quitters" and ongoing smokers were entered into a regression analysis, which revealed that higher self-confidence, smoking fewer cigarettes per day, and younger age accounted for 25% of the variance in spontaneous cessation. Adding the psychotherapy intervention conferred no additional protection against relapse in this subgroup of spontaneous quitters. The six-month abstinence rate of 36% is similar to that found in Caucasian and higher-income populations. These results extend research with pregnant smokers to a new population and may have implications for healthcare providers and policy makers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-210
Number of pages8
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported in part by grants from the Patrick and Catherine Weldon Donaghue Medical Research Foundation and Hartford Hospital Research Endowment Funds. The authors gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Jeremy Barbagallo, Elizabeth Gregonis, and Roxanne Stepnowski for their assistance with this project.


  • Hispanic women
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal care
  • Relapse prevention
  • Smoking cessation
  • Spontaneous quitting


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