SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

ABSTRACT: Smoking prevalence rates have been declining in the United States, but an estimated 25 percent of pregnant women continue to smoke. Smoking during pregnancy is considered one of the leading, preventable causes of low birthweight. Research attributes 21 to 39 percent of low birthweight to smoking during pregnancy, although the exact mechanism of the effect is not completely understood. Several well-designed studies have shown that pregnant smokers are more likely to stop smoking if they are provided with systematic interventions. This overview describes adverse consequences, prevalence, possible mechanisms of action, and prenatal smoking-cessation programs that have proved effective. A five-step approach is outlined for clinicians who want to counsel their prenatal clients.