A high proportion (47%–63%) of women who quit smoking during pregnancy relapse during the postpartum period.   Being able to identify those women at highest risk for relapse may help to devise strategies for preventing relapse.

A recent study included 512 women from the United Kingdom who had quit smoking during pregnancy. Postpartum relapse was linked to living in deprived urban areas (OR = 2.3), having 3 or more children (OR = 3.8), and having other smokers in the household (OR = 5.6).

Women who were breast feeding were significantly less likely to relapse (OR = 0.6, 95% CI: 0.4–0.9).

Ruta Nonacs, MD PhD

Harmer C, Memon A.  Factors Associated With Smoking Relapse in the Postpartum Period: An Analysis of the Child Health Surveillance System Data in Southeast England.  Nicotine Tob Res. 2012 Oct 8. [Epub ahead of print]

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