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Obstet Gynecol. 2008 Feb;111(2 Pt 1):348-55. doi: 10.1097/01.AOG.0000297305.54455.2e.

Smoking cessation medication use among pregnant and postpartum smokers.

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  • 1Tobacco Research & Treatment Center, Department of Medicine, and Institute for Health Policy, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.



To assess how often pregnant and postpartum smokers use medications and how often obstetric providers recommend them.


We analyzed end-of-pregnancy and 3-month postpartum surveys of 296 pregnant smokers enrolled in a randomized controlled trial of telephone counseling for smoking cessation that did not include medication. Patients were asked whether any obstetric provider discussed cessation medication and whether they had used medication.


At end of pregnancy, 29.3% of respondents reported discussing a cessation medication with their obstetric providers, more often nicotine replacement (26.5%) than bupropion (12.2%) (P=.001). Ten percent of trial respondents used a medication while pregnant (7.4% nicotine replacement, 3.4% bupropion, P=.023). Obstetricians discussed medication with 29.4% of smokers at the postpartum visit; 14.3% of postpartum smokers used medication. Contrary to guidelines, women who smoked more cigarettes per day or had already tried quitting during pregnancy were not more likely to use medication or to discuss medication with their provider. Medication use was associated with older age, more education, living with a partner, a previous birth, having an obstetric provider who discussed medication, and having private health insurance in a state whose Medicaid program did not cover cessation medications (all P<.05).


Pregnant women are more reluctant to use cessation medications than clinical guidelines recommend. More pregnant smokers might use cessation medications if their obstetricians discussed them routinely and if health insurance covered their cost.



[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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