Smoking among low-income, pregnant women: prevalence rates, cessation interventions, and clinical implications.
ABSTRACT Smoking has a significant effect on the major causes of death and disability among women, including coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer, and osteoporosis. When pregnant women smoke, it adversely affects not only them but also the health, development, and functioning of their unborn and young children. Of the general population of pregnant women, between 20 and 45 percent smoke. Furthermore, among low-income and less educated pregnant women, the increase in prevalence of postpartum smoking relapse rates, continued smoking, and initiation of smoking underlies the need for developing effective interventions for prevention and cessation. Although self-help, stop-smoking materials demonstrated success in several trials, interventions used in conjunction with these materials were brief with little follow-up, and did not address the need for continued intervention to help maintain abstinence or cessation after birth. This article reviews the smoking cessation trials that have assessed the effects of various interventions on cessation rates among low-income pregnant women, and describes future research needs for clinic-based smoking interventions for those women and the clinical implications for health professionals.