I don’t need you to criticise me, I need you to support me’. A qualitative study of women’s experiences of and attitudes to smoking cessation during pregnancy.

Tomasina Stacey, Jayne Samples, Chelsea Leadley, Lisa Akester, Azariah Jenney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)
32 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background
Smoking is associated with health inequalities and is the most important modifiable risk factor for poor outcome in pregnancy.

Aim
To explore women’s experiences of smoking during pregnancy, examine their attitudes and barriers to smoking cessation, and to discover what support they feel might enable them to have a smoke-free pregnancy in future.

Methods
A qualitative study was conducted with nineteen women in the United Kingdom who had smoked at some stage in pregnancy during the last five years. Data were collected through in-depth telephone interviews between June and August 2021. The interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim, and thematically analysed.

Findings
Four key themes were identified: the complex relationship with smoking, being ready to quit, the need for support and understanding, and ideas to support a smoke free pregnancy. The findings revealed that there were two distinct avenues for enabling the support process: encouraging a readiness to quit through identifying individual context, personalised support, and educational risk perception, and, supporting the process of quitting, and offering a range of options, underpinned by a personalised, non-judgemental approach.

Conclusion
Smoking in pregnancy is a complex issue resulting from a combination of social, emotional, and physical factors. The findings from this study suggest that a combination of approaches should be made available to enable pregnant women who smoke to select the best options for their individual needs. Irrespective of the practical support offered, there is a need for informed, sensitive, individualised support system that women can identify with.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e549-e555
JournalWomen and Birth
Volume35
Issue number6
Early online date1 Feb 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022

Keywords

  • Pregnancy,
  • peer support
  • qualitative study
  • smoking cessation

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