Background: Cigarette smoking during pregnancy represents a significant health risk to the fetus, but most women continue to smoke during pregnancy, and most who quit relapse postpartum. This study provides an assessment of psychosocial variables on women who quit, relapsed, cut down, or did not alter their smoking during pregnancy.
Methods: Mothers of newborns in 49 pediatric practices (N = 13,495) were surveyed at the newborns' first well-care office visit to a pediatrician, and 2,901 mothers who smoked in the month prior to pregnancy were identified. Predictive information was obtained by comparing mothers who quit smoking with those who continued to smoke, mothers who stayed quit with relapsers, and mothers who reduced tobacco consumption with those who did not.
Results: Thirty-five percent of mothers reported quitting smoking during pregnancy, and 52% had cut down for pregnancy. Factors related to quitting smoking for pregnancy were younger age, higher level of education, lower smoking level, having a partner who did not smoke, and not consuming alcohol. Mothers who quit also reported allowing less smoking in the home. Relapse for quitters was highly correlated with partner's smoking. For women who cut down but did not quit, smoking level and age were most significant.