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This study investigates the socio-demographic characteristics of pregnant women who stop smoking …

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- Which women stop smoking during pregnancy and the effect on breastfeeding duration

Quitting smoking during pregnancy is a potential area for huge public health gain in the short term through decreasing smoking related harm, and in the long term by promoting the positive health benefits of prolonged breastfeeding. Pregnancy is a time when women are more receptive to quitting smoking and many opportunities exist for implementing cessation efforts that are succinct and simple. A large proportion of women stop smoking voluntarily at this time, however many continue putting their health and that of their unborn foetus at risk. The current study highlights women who are primiparous, smoke less than 10 cigarettes per day before pregnancy, and consume alcohol before pregnancy, as significant predictors of quitting smoking at this time. Quitting smoking during pregnancy is supportive of breastfeeding for longer than six months.

In an effort to decrease the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes and promote the best possible health outcomes for the infant and the mother, smoking cessation intervention programs in pregnancy should be designed with the predictive factors identified in this study in mind. It is also important that tobacco control strategies targeting the mainstream population run concurrently with smoking cessation programs for pregnant women. Antenatal care services at all levels and in both the public and private domain are paramount in supporting these cessation efforts.

Authors' contributions

RCG had primary responsibility for the data analysis and writing the manuscript.

CWB supervised the design and execution of the study, and contributed to writing the manuscript.

HA participated in the final data analyses and contributed to writing the manuscript.

Competing interests

The author(s) declare that they have no competing interests.


Roslyn Giglia is supported by a Public Health Postgraduate Research Scholarship from the National Health and Medical Research Council. The study was funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.

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