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Keywords:

  • pregnancy;
  • smoking cessation;
  • nicotine replacement therapy;
  • intervention study

Background.  The aim was to study the effect of a multimodal smoking cessation intervention regimen on a number of pregnant smokers.

Methods.  A prospective intervention study was designed where participants were allocated to intervention or control based on their birth date. The study included 647 pregnant smokers. The intervention group (n = 327) received initial individual smoking cessation counseling supplemented by an invitation to join, individually or in a group, a smoking cessation program with nicotine replacement therapy as a voluntary option. Intervention was designed as an integral part of the midwives' prenatal care. All pregnant smokers in the usual care group (n = 320) received standard counseling from a midwife. Outcome was self-reported smoking cessation in the 37th week of pregnancy and the reported cessation was validated by cotinine saliva concentration.

Results.  Self-reported cessation rates during pregnancy were significantly higher in the intervention group (14%) than in the group receiving usual care (5.0%) (p < 0.0001) (Fisher's exact test). Cotinine-validated cessation rates during pregnancy were significantly higher among the former (7%) than the latter (2%) (p = 0.003). The adjusted odds ratio (OR) for smoking cessation was 4.20 (95% CI 2.13–8.03). Logistic regression analysis showed a significant positive association of smoking cessation with low caffeine consumption in pregnancy, many years in school, no exposure to passive smoking outside the home, and previous attempts to stop smoking.

Conclusions.  A multimodal intervention regimen with initial individual counseling supplemented by an invitation to join a smoking cessation program with nicotine replacement therapy as a voluntary option markedly increased cessation rates during pregnancy.