Smoking and Pregnancy

Risk factors, women’s experiences and interventions

Authored by: Michael Ussher , Felix Naughton , Caitlin Notley , Linda Bauld

Routledge International Handbook of Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health

Print publication date:  October  2019
Online publication date:  September  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138490260
eBook ISBN: 9781351035620
Adobe ISBN:


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In high-income countries, maternal smoking is the main preventable cause of morbidity and death among pregnant women and their infants. There are also risks of long-term effects on infants and maternal smoking during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of offspring smoking later in life. Cigarette smoking is overrepresented among economically disadvantaged women; therefore reducing smoking can also reduce health inequalities such as infant mortality. Effective interventions are needed to help women to cease smoking in pregnancy and to maintain abstinence in the long term. This chapter reviews qualitative research on women’s experience of smoking and cessation, both during pregnancy and postpartum. This research considers factors at the individual, interpersonal, and organisational level. Evidence for the effectiveness of interventions to aid smoking cessation during pregnancy is also considered, with a focus on face-to-face behavioural support, financial incentives, self-help, pharmacotherapy, and population-level interventions.

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