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Matern Child Health J. 2002 Jun;6(2):89-97.

Factors associated with smoking cessation among U.S. pregnant women.

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Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Rockville, Maryland 20857, USA.



This study examines smoking and smoking cessation behaviors among U.S. pregnant women and seeks to identify the sociodemographic correlates of smoking cessation in pregnancy.


The 1998 NHIS Pregnancy and Smoking supplement was analyzed, including 5288 U.S. women (weighted to represent 13,714,358 women) who gave birth to a liveborn infant in the past 5 years. Four categories of smoking behavior were analyzed: nonsmoking at last pregnancy, persistent smoking throughout pregnancy, attempting unsuccessfully to quit during pregnancy, and successfully quitting during pregnancy. Logistic regression was used to isolate risk factors for each of the smoking behaviors and to examine factors associated with attempted and successful cessation.


The women most likely to attempt to quit smoking in pregnancy were Hispanic women (OR = 3.09) and women who have smoked for less than 10 years (OR = 2.75 for women aged 18-24.) In general, for the groups at highest risk of smoking at the start of pregnancy, the odds of being a persistent smoker were higher than the odds of being an unsuccessful quitter, which in turn were higher than the odds of quitting successfully. The factors associated with attempts to quit included Hispanic ethnicity, higher education, above-poverty income, and shorter duration of smoking, while the combined effect of age and smoking duration was the only one significantly associated with successful quitting. In every age group, longer smoking duration was associated with lower likelihood of attempting to quit as well as successful quitting.


The factors most strongly associated with attempts to quit smoking were Hispanic ethnicity and the combined effect of age and smoking duration. Future smoking cessation and relapse prevention programs should be developed, taking into consideration the critical factors of age, ethnicity, income, geography, and addiction.

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