Cold Turkey After Birth

Smoking cessation for new moms helped with snazzy pamphlet

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Robert Carlson, M.D

(RxWiki News) Quitting smoking during pregnancy is thankfully becoming more common. But a lot of new moms go back to smoking within a year of giving birth. This is still dangerous for the baby!

A recent study tested a new smoking cessation pamphlet on a group of pregnant women. Results found that women who received the new pamphlet had an 11 percent higher quit rate after 8 months.

"Never smoke around babies or children."

Thomas H. Brandon, PhD, professor of psychology at the University of South Florida and chair of the Department of Health Outcomes and Behavior at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, and Vani Nath Simmons, PhD, also from the Moffitt Cancer Center, led the investigation.

Dr. Brandon said, “We’d first like to see more women quit smoking when they become pregnant. However, even among those who do quit, the majority return to smoking shortly after they give birth.”

For the study, 504 women between the fourth and eighth month of their pregnancy, who were also smokers until they quit for the pregnancy were recruited.

The women were split into two groups. The first group was given 10 Forever Free for Baby and Me booklets to help prevent the mothers from returning to smoking after giving birth.

The second group members were given two standard smoking cessation materials. Researchers checked in and assessed the women at 1, 8 and 12 months after giving birth.

At the 8-month mark, the first group had maintained a 70 percent quit rate, and the second group had a 59 percent quit rate.

Women from households making less than $30,000 per year were more likely to benefit from the Forever Free for Baby and Me booklets, maintaining a 72 percent quit rate even at the 12-month mark.

Authors note that while it is important for women to quit smoking while pregnant, starting back up after delivery will expose the child to serious toxins from the tobacco smoke.

The 10 Forever Free for Baby and Me booklets provided extensive quit tips and information for the woman’s partner on how to be supportive

Dr. Simmons said, “Our booklets were designed to be accessible to a diverse population with respect to content, reading level and graphic design.”

Another added benefit of the 10 Forever Free for Baby and Me booklets was the low cost of production for the high yield of impact.

This study was published in September in the American Journal of Public Health.

No funding information was provided and no conflicts of interest were found.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
October 7, 2012
Last Updated:
October 9, 2012