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J Am Acad Nurse Pract. 2002 Jun;14(6):243-50.

Implementing a smoking cessation program for pregnant women based on current clinical practice guidelines.

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Adult Health and Illness Department, College of Nursing, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE, USA.



To describe the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services clinical practice guideline for treating tobacco use and dependence and demonstrate how the guideline was utilized in a pilot program for a small sample of pregnant women (n = 20) to help them decrease smoking.


A convenience sample of 20 pregnant women was recruited from a health maintenance organization at their initial prenatal contact either by telephone or in person. A comparison group of pregnant women (n = 28) was used for analysis of outcomes.


Clinical results showed better outcomes for women in the pilot program when compared to a similar group who did not participate in the program. There was a statistically significant difference between the two groups in average number of cigarettes smoked per day at delivery and two weeks after delivery with pilot program participants reporting less smoking (p < .05). Women in both groups showed a pattern of returning to smoking after delivery of the baby.


Although a few tobacco users achieve permanent abstinence in first or second attempts, the majority continue to use tobacco for many years and typically cycle through many lapse and relapses before permanent abstinence. Ambulatory care systems need to be developed and funded to treat tobacco use and dependence over the life span. Recognition of the chronic nature of the problem and development of long term care delivery systems are needed to assist clients to achieve goals of permanent abstinence and better personal and family health. This cycle of lapse and relapse before permanent abstinence is typical and demonstrates the chronic nature of tobacco use and dependence and the need for long term follow-up.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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