Interventions that can help quit smoking during pregnancy. Literature review

Roberta Šarvaitė1,Viktorija Andrejevaitė2

1 Vilnius University, Faculty of Medicine

2 Vilnius University Faculty of medicine Internal diseases, Family medicine and Oncology clinic


Smoking during pregnancy is an important healthcare problem. It is one of the most important and possibly preventable risk factors, associated with adverse birth outcomes, such as spontaneous miscarriage, premature delivery, small for gestational age birth weight and many more. Therefore, the aim of this study was to overview the epidemiology of smoking during pregnancy, as well as effective and evidence based methods for smoking cessation during pregnancy.

Review was carried out using Medline, PubMed, Cochrane Library, Medscape and specialized freely accessible web search engine Google Scholar. Only articles overviewing recent effective smoking cessation methods and epidemiology of smoking prevalence among pregnant women were selected.

Research shows, that approximately 1 in 4 women who used to smoke prior to conception, continue smoking during pregnancy. Smoking status during pregnancy significantly depends on social status: women with lower income, poor housing, low health education, experiencing domestic violence are at risk to continue smoking. Every healthcare specialist dealing with pregnant woman should encourage them to quit smoking. The 5A model is one of the most effective and easily adjusted methods in medical practice. The use of this method significantly increases chances of quitting or cutting down on smoking. Research shows that counselling therapy for tobacco dependency treatment significantly reduces the number of smoking pregnant women. This therapy includes behavioral counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing. There is not enough evidence about smoking cessation medications and e-cigarettes use in pregnant women, therefore the benefits and harms of these methods cannot be evaluated properly. Tobacco dependency treatment should be chosen individually.

Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of adverse birth outcomes, for this reason healthcare specialists should advise and help pregnant women quit smoking as soon as possible after the conception.

Keywords: smoking during pregnancy, smoking cessation, smoking cessation pharmacotherapy, e-cigarettes