Most women quit smoking during pregnancy for the health of their unborn children (Flemming, Graham, Heirs, Fox, & Sowden, 2013; Notley, Blyth, Craig, Edwards, & Holland, 2015). However, despite overwhelming evidence of the negative health effects of smoking, most women resume smoking after childbirth (Constantine, Slater, Carroll, & Antin, 2014; Notley et al., 2015). Studies have identified certain characteristics that appear to raise women’s likelihood of resuming cigarette smoking after quitting during their pregnancy, including an unintended pregnancy, age under 25 years, less than 12 years of education, non-Hispanic black, bottle feeding, and multiparity (Jones, Lewis, Parrott, Wormall, & Coleman, 2016). To date, some interventions have been successful in motivating women to abstain from smoking after delivery, but few interventions have resulted in long-term smoking cessation.
Is enough known about which women are at risk for relapse? Why do women who were motivated to quit smoking while pregnant find it so challenging to remain abstinent after their babies are born? To promote the health and wellness of women, children, and families, there needs to be an understanding of the predictors of postpartum tobacco use which can be used to target relapse.
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