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Spontaneous cessation of smoking and alcohol use among low-income pregnant women

Judith K. Ockene, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Yunsheng Ma, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Jane G. Zapka, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Lori Pbert, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Karin V. Goins, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Anne M. Stoddard

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Despite the strong evidence of harmful effects, tobacco and alcohol use during pregnancy continue to be major public health challenges. Some women, however, do stop spontaneously when they learn of their pregnancy. No study has investigated spontaneous cessation of both behaviors in a low-income predominantly unmarried U.S. population.

OBJECTIVE: To describe the prevalence of spontaneous cessation of cigarette and alcohol use alone and in combination and associated factors among low-income pregnant women.

METHODS: Subjects (N=601) were currently smoking or smoking when they became pregnant and participating in Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) programs in the greater Boston, Massachusetts, area. Baseline interviews assessed the factors being studied and the spontaneous cessation of cigarette and alcohol use with pregnancy. Saliva cotinine verified self-reported smoking status.

RESULTS: Spontaneous cessation of smoking and alcohol use was reported by 28% and 80% of the women, respectively; 25% spontaneously quit both, and 15% stopped neither. Multivariable analyses indicated that smoking cessation was less likely in women who had previous births, had a husband or partner who smoked, were born in the United States, were black (non-Hispanic, non-Portuguese), had less than a high school education, were highly addicted, reported lower perceived risk to the fetus, and reported "too many other problems in life to stop." Hispanic ethnicity, younger age, and more social support to quit smoking were related to spontaneous alcohol abstinence.

CONCLUSIONS: Targeted multiple strategies, including those aimed at increasing participation of partners, are needed for low-income pregnant smokers.

Suggested Citation

Judith K. Ockene, Yunsheng Ma, Jane G. Zapka, Lori Pbert, Karin V. Goins, and Anne M. Stoddard. "Spontaneous cessation of smoking and alcohol use among low-income pregnant women" American journal of preventive medicine 23.3 (2002).
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/may/29