Pregnancy Is a Great Motivator for Smoking Cessation

November 21, 2011

In the United States, nearly 1 in 5 women smoke. The College also reminds clinicians that pregnancy is often a great motivator to quit smoking.

In the United States, nearly 1 in 5 women smoke. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (The College) encourage women to abstain from smoking and reminds obstetricians and gynecologists that smoking shaves an average of 14.5 years off the lives of female smokers. The College also reminds clinicians that pregnancy is often a great motivator to quit smoking. In 2008, roughly 20% of pregnant women who smoked quit during pregnancy.1

Smoking during pregnancy puts babies at a higher risk for preterm birth, low birth weight, placental abruption, sudden infant death syndrome, poor lung function, asthma, and bronchitis. In addition, the harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke are passed through breast milk to babies. Pregnancy is a good opportunity for obstetricians and gynecologists to talk to patients who smoke about support groups, local smoking cessation resources, and medical therapies that may increase the odds of permanently quitting. For non-pregnant women, nicotine replacement products and or medications such as buproprion or varenicline in combination with nicotine replacement products can double the chances of quitting.1

Reference
1. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Today smoking cessation takes center stage: Ob-Gyns support the 36th annual Great American Smokeout.  Accessed November 18, 2011.