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Womens Health Issues. 2008 Sep-Oct;18(5):381-6. doi: 10.1016/j.whi.2008.04.006. Epub 2008 Jul 26.

Women's interest in treatment to stay abstinent from cigarettes postpartum.

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Department of Psychiatry, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213, USA.



Most women who quit smoking during pregnancy resume smoking in the postpartum period. Interventions to improve rates of sustained tobacco abstinence postpartum may need to address psychosocial factors during the postpartum period. However, given the multiple demands on mothers of young children, it is unclear whether women will find postpartum relapse prevention treatment acceptable. We sought to determine the acceptability of a postpartum smoking relapse prevention intervention and the appeal of strategies to address concerns about mood, stress, and weight to prevent postpartum relapse.


Women (n = 36) who had quit smoking during pregnancy and either remained abstinent or relapsed within the first year postpartum completed a survey about postpartum relapse prevention program modalities, topics, and barriers to treatment. The responses of women who had and had not relapsed to smoking were compared.


Both groups endorsed the opportunity to talk with a counselor about relapse prevention, and those who had and had not relapsed did not differ in their endorsement of different treatment modalities. Discussing mood, stress, and weight concerns were endorsed by both groups of women, but those who had relapsed were more likely to endorse stress management as an intervention topic. Those who had relapsed also were more likely to endorse the use of pharmacologic aids than were those who had remained abstinent.


These data suggest that postpartum women would find a smoking relapse prevention program that includes group and individual counseling and the use of strategies to address mood, stress, and weight concerns acceptable.

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