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Smoking Cessation

To improve your health and the health of your baby, it is important to quit smoking. Options available in pregnancy include many alternative sources of nicotine (patches, gum, lollipops, or electronic cigarettes). However, this 2014 study[1] suggested that overall the most effective way to quit is to quit without any medications. Another study showed that quitting smoking actually reduced stress and anxiety (contrary to most people’s first thoughts about smoking reducing stress!) [2]

Abrupt stopping on the quit day and gradual reduction to stop are associated with equal quit rates. Gradual smoking reduction methods include reducing smoking by a certain amount daily or weekly, increasing the time between cigarettes, and increasing the time from waking to the first cigarette of the day. All gradual reduction methods should culminate in a quit day.

Relapse prevention strategies:

  1. tell friends, family, work you are quitting and get support
  2. reminders of benefits of quitting
  3. identify smoking triggers
  4. avoid triggers in the short term
  5. plan for exposure to triggers

5Ts of smoking in pregnancy:

T -terminate all use in pregnancy

T -tend to the process to keep child's environment free of tobacco

T -teach children about the dangers of smoking

T -tune-in to the marketing and media messages children receive

T -talk about the risks

This is a great book to read, if you are considering quitting smoking: Quit Smoking the Easy Way, by Allen Carr.

Please ask your healthcare provider for more information if you need help. Please see the following link for more information:


[1] Berlin I, Grange G, Jacob N, Tanguy ML. Nicotine patches in pregnant smokers: randomised, placebo controlled, multicentre trial of efficacy. BMJ 2014;348:g1622.

[2] McDermott MS, Marteau TM, Hollands GJ, Hankins M, Aveyard P. Change in anxiety following successful and unsuccessful attempts at smoking cessation: cohort study. Br J Psychiatry 2013;202(1):62-67.

This study showed that mental health overall improved with quitting smoking: Taylor G, McNeill A, Girling A, Farley A, Lindson-Hawley N, Aveyard P. Change in mental health after smoking cessation: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ 2014;348:g1151.

ALARM 2014, E-therapeutics July 2014

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