The Theory of Planned Behavior and Postpartum Smoking Relapse


  • Cynthia J. Gantt

    Corresponding author
    1. Cynthia J. Gantt, RN, MS, CFNP, Lambda Gamma, Doctoral student, University of San Diego, Family Nurse Practitioner, United States Navy Nurse Corps, San Diego, CA
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Ms. Gantt: 1354 Ronda Avenue, Escondido, CA 92027. E-mail:


Purpose: To explore the applicability of Ajzen's theory of planned behavior to postpartum smoking relapse.

Organizing Framework: The theory of planned behavior is proposed as an appropriate framework for the study of postpartum smoking relapse.

Methods: The literature on smoking cessation, postnatal smoking, and the theory of planned behavior were reviewed. References included electronic database and manual search results.

Conclusions: The theory of planned behavior provides a framework for explaining, predicting, and influencing human behaviors based on modifiable factors of attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control. The inclusion of instrument development guidelines significantly strengthens the usefulness of the framework. A theoretically based understanding of postpartum smoking relapses can guide and strengthen appropriate interventions directed toward significantly reducing postpartum smoking, thereby increasing the number of women who are able to remain smoke-free for life.