Postpartum smoking relapse

Addict Behav. 1990;15(2):165-8. doi: 10.1016/0306-4603(90)90020-x.


While it has been established that many women quit smoking during pregnancy, little is known about postpartum maintenance of smoking cessation and relapse. A sample of 567 women were surveyed at about 6 months postpartum in order to (a) describe the patterns of smoking relapse; (b) assess the perceived importance of smoking cessation in pregnancy and postpartum; and (c) identify potentially high risk situations for smoking relapse. Results indicate that about half (56%) of the women who quit smoking during pregnancy relapse to smoking by 30 days postpartum. Most of these relapses occur in the company of other smokers. Socializing and/or living with a smoker had a powerful negative impact on ability to maintain abstinence in postpartum. Smoking cessation programs for pregnant women should emphasize the importance of continued abstinence in postpartum.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Postpartum Period / psychology*
  • Pregnancy / psychology*
  • Recurrence
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / psychology*
  • Smoking Prevention