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Briege M Lagan, Karen Casson
British Journal of Midwifery, Vol. 18, Iss. 4, 01 Apr 2010, pp 229 - 235

This article reports the findings from an exploratory, descriptive survey to assess pregnant smokers' awareness, attitudes and behaviour in relation to smoking in pregnancy and the support needed to help them stop. One hundred and fifty women attending antenatal clinics within an acute health-care trust hospital in Northern Ireland and who continued to smoke in pregnancy were asked to complete a questionnaire. One hundred and twenty-three women participated. Findings identified smoking habits were established in early teenage years. Most women were not aware of many of the dangers associated with continuing to smoke in pregnancy. Having a partner who smoked was negatively associated with women's cessation of smoking in pregnancy. The findings also suggest that once the smoking habit is established addiction makes it more difficult for women to quit. Therefore, if smoking prevalence among pregnant women is to be reduced preventive and early intervention programmes must start early in school life. For those women whose partner also smokes, interventions are required to encourage both the woman and her partner to quit together.

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