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OBJECTIVE—There is a growing body of knowledge about the pregnant smoker and what happens as she goes through the pregnancy and postpartum periods. This article reviews the process of smoking cessation in the context of pregnancy.
DATA SOURCES—Epidemiological data, extant reviews of the literature, and current original research reports are used to examine characteristics of the women and of the change process for those women smokers who quit, stop, or modify their smoking during pregnancy and the postpartum period.
DATA SYNTHESIS—An analysis of the interaction of the process of smoking cessation with pregnancy was conducted to gain insight into the unique problems faced by the pregnant smoker and discover directions for intervention.
CONCLUSIONS—Pregnancy and the postpartum period provide a window of opportunity to promote smoking cessation and smoke free families. Understanding obstacles and pathways for pregnancy and postpartum smoking cessation can guide implementation of effective existing programs and development of new ones. Recommendations include promoting cessation before and at the beginning of pregnancy, increasing delivery of treatment early in pregnancy, helping spontaneous and intervention assisted quitters to remain tobacco free postpartum, aiding late pregnancy smokers, and involving the partner of the woman smoker.
Keywords: pregnancy; smoking; process of change; relapse