Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Prev Med. 2002 Oct;23(3):150-9.

Spontaneous cessation of smoking and alcohol use among low-income pregnant women.

Author information

  • 1Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts 01655, USA.



Despite the strong evidence of harmful effects, tobacco and alcohol use during pregnancy continue to be major public health challenges. Some women, however, do stop spontaneously when they learn of their pregnancy. No study has investigated spontaneous cessation of both behaviors in a low-income predominantly unmarried U.S. population.


To describe the prevalence of spontaneous cessation of cigarette and alcohol use alone and in combination and associated factors among low-income pregnant women.


Subjects (N=601) were currently smoking or smoking when they became pregnant and participating in Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) programs in the greater Boston, Massachusetts, area. Baseline interviews assessed the factors being studied and the spontaneous cessation of cigarette and alcohol use with pregnancy. Saliva cotinine verified self-reported smoking status.


Spontaneous cessation of smoking and alcohol use was reported by 28% and 80% of the women, respectively; 25% spontaneously quit both, and 15% stopped neither. Multivariable analyses indicated that smoking cessation was less likely in women who had previous births, had a husband or partner who smoked, were born in the United States, were black (non-Hispanic, non-Portuguese), had less than a high school education, were highly addicted, reported lower perceived risk to the fetus, and reported "too many other problems in life to stop." Hispanic ethnicity, younger age, and more social support to quit smoking were related to spontaneous alcohol abstinence.


Targeted multiple strategies, including those aimed at increasing participation of partners, are needed for low-income pregnant smokers.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center