Factors Associated with Smoke-Free Pregnancy among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Women and Their Experience of Quitting Smoking in Pregnancy: A Mixed Method Cross-Sectional Study

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Oct 26;18(21):11240. doi: 10.3390/ijerph182111240.


Smoke-free pregnancies have long-term health benefits for mothers and babies. This paper quantitatively examines factors associated with smoke-free pregnancies among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women (hereafter Aboriginal women) and qualitatively explores their smoking cessation (SC) experiences during pregnancy. An Aboriginal-led online cross-sectional study on SC was conducted with Aboriginal women and in partnership with Aboriginal communities, between July and October 2020. The present analysis includes participants who made a pregnancy-related quit attempt (N = 103). Chi-squared tests, logistic regression models, and thematic analysis of free-form text responses were performed. The adjusted odds of having smoke-free pregnancies were 4.54 times higher among participants who used Aboriginal Health Services (AHS) (AOR = 4.54, p-value 0.018). Participants living in urban settings had 67% lower odds of having smoke-free pregnancies compared to their regional/remote counterparts (AOR = 0.33, p-value 0.020). Qualitative data revealed strong motivations to reduce tobacco-related harms to the fetus and variability in quitting experiences at different stages of and across pregnancies. Smoking cessation care (SCC) can support Aboriginal women meaningfully if their quitting experiences are considered in SCC development and implementation. Consistent funding for AHS-led SCC is needed to garner health benefits for Aboriginal peoples. More research into urban versus regional/remote differences in maternal SC is recommended.

Keywords: Aboriginal Health Services; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women; indigenous-led health research; smoke-free pregnancy; smoking cessation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Services, Indigenous*
  • Humans
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
  • Pregnancy
  • Research Design
  • Smoking Cessation*