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May 6, 2019

Tobacco Harm Reduction for Women Who Cannot Stop Smoking During Pregnancy—A Viable Option?

Author Affiliations
  • 1School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle, Hunter Medical Research Institute, New Lambton Heights, Australia
JAMA Pediatr. 2019;173(7):615-616. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2019.0902

Adverse effects of smoking during pregnancy are well known; yet globally, 53% of women who smoke daily continue to smoke daily during pregnancy.1 Smoking rates are also much higher among those from disadvantaged backgrounds. For example, 43% of Australian Indigenous pregnant women smoke, compared with 12% of nonindigenous pregnant women.2 Despite wanting to stop smoking, barriers such as continued smoking among social networks, lack of access to quit-smoking services, emotional stress (eg, intimate partner violence), pregnancy-related depression, and increased metabolism of nicotine during pregnancy may not allow smoking cessation to be achieved in all pregnant women who smoke.

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