Smoking Cessation in Pregnancy: A Review of Postpartum Relapse Prevention Strategies

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Review and examine existing research, current strategies, and directions for future research on smoking cessation relapse and relapse prevention in pregnancy and postpartum.


A MEDLINE/PubMed search in 2002 and 2003 for articles containing the key words "smoking," "pregnancy," "cessation," and "cessation relapse prevention" and references of retrieved papers yielded a review of more than 500 articles. Only 14 of these addressed program-based strategies to increase cessation among pregnant women through relapse prevention programs.


Although there is much information on the rationale and strategies for smoking cessation for pregnant women, fewer studies exist on how to prevent relapse. Maintaining and accelerating progress in cessation during pregnancy and postpartum requires more research that focuses on relapse prevention and cessation. Programs should incorporate stresses particular to postpartum women, should be part of routine health care, and should involve the woman's social support network, including her partner, to maximize effectiveness.

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