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Behavioural support is effective in helping pregnant smokers to stop.



Smoking during pregnancy risks harming the fetus, and this knowledge motivates many women to quit. Healthcare professionals should counsel patients that the risks are reversed if a woman quits early in pregnancy. In societies where awareness of the risks is already high, women who continue to smoke during early pregnancy may require intensive support to quit. More intensive support or referral to a specialist service can increase quit rates over usual care or brief advice alone. There is also evidence to suggest that incentive-based smoking cessation programs, offering rewards such as lottery tickets, cash payments, vouchers and reimbursement of cash deposited by participants, result in higher long-term quit rates than alternative (non-contingent incentive) interventions. Evidence suggests a borderline effect of health education when compared with usual care; however the effect is unclear when compared with less intensive interventions, alternative interventions, or when health education is provided as a component of a broader maternal health intervention.

Women who receive psychosocial interventions have a reduced likelihood of their baby being born with a low birthweight and being admitted to neonatal intensive care. However, a link between psychosocial interventions and preterm births and stillbirths is unclear.



Chamberlain C, O'Mara-Eves A, Oliver S, Caird JR, Perlen SM, Eades SJ, Thomas J. Psychosocial interventions for supporting women to stop smoking in pregnancy. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013, Issue 10. Art. No.: CD001055. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001055.pub5.

Cahill K, Hartmann-Boyce J, Perera R. Incentives for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2015, Issue 5. Art. No.: CD004307. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004307.pub5.

Hajek P, West R, Lee A, et al. Randomized controlled trial of a midwife-delivered brief smoking cessation intervention in pregnancy. Addiction. 2001; 96: 485-494.

McLeod D, Pullon S, Benn C, et al. Can support and education for smoking cessation and reduction be provided effectively by midwives within primary maternity care ? Midwifery. 2004; 20: 37-50.

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