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Postpartum period, Pregnancy, Smoking, Smoking cessation



  1. Yang, Irene PhD, RN
  2. Hall, Lynne DrPH, RN


Abstract: Purpose: To compare inpatient postpartum current and former smokers on: need for smoking cessation assistance; cessation interventions received from healthcare providers; cessation methods used; perceived barriers of cessation; exposure to second hand smoke (SHS); interest in postdischarge interventions; and smoking abstinence self-efficacy (SASE).


Study Design and Methods: A descriptive comparative study was conducted using a cross-sectional survey of 24 postpartum women in the inpatient setting. Surveys were administered by face-to-face interview, with a paper-and-pencil option, and included questions from the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System and the SASE Scale.


Results: Women were predominantly low-income, unemployed, and Medicaid insured. Two-thirds of current smokers indicated that they needed help with smoking cessation. Most women in both groups received advice to quit smoking. Fewer, however, received specific types of assistance to stop smoking. The predominant smoking cessation method attempted in both groups was the "cold turkey" method. More former smokers than current smokers maintained a nonsmoking home environment. More current smokers than former smokers were interested in postdischarge interventions.


Clinical Implications: Current smokers need help quitting smoking and former smokers need postpartum relapse interventions. Providers should be intentional about offering existing interventions to help women quit smoking. Affordable and accessible interventions are needed that address unique stressors experienced by women, which include screening for depression and anxiety, and that incorporate smoking cessation interventions for spouses and partners who smoke. Cessation and relapse prevention interventions for postpartum women should start in the postpartum inpatient period and continue after discharge.