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Smoking Cessation for Pregnant Women

Given the risks associated with smoking during pregnancy, but also the challenges faced by all smokers when trying to quit, researchers have studied an array of approaches to improve cessation rates for this population. Many women are motivated to quit during pregnancy, but like other smokers, most will need assistance.

The Risks of Smoking During Pregnancy

Studies show that behavioral treatments are effective, whereas pharmacotherapies have only marginal success. A combination of incentives and behavioral counseling is most effective for pregnant women. Adding vouchers to routine care (which included free nicotine replacement therapy for 10 weeks and four weekly support phone calls) more than doubled cessation rates during pregnancy.

Studies indicate that treatment can:

  • Reduce preterm births
  • Improve estimated fetal growth
  • Improve birth weight
  • Improve breastfeeding duration