Nearly half of women who stop smoking during pregnancy go back to smoking after the baby is born

 smoking pregnancy445
16 Mar 2016 13:16:13.397

A new study from The University of Nottingham shows that nearly half of women who managed to stay off cigarettes during pregnancy went back to smoking within six months of giving birth.

In the research, published in the scientific journal Addiction, it was revealed that in studies testing the effectiveness of stop-smoking support for pregnant women, forty-three per cent of the women who managed to stay off cigarettes during the pregnancy went back to smoking within six months.

While not smoking during pregnancy is very important, there is an urgent need to find better ways of helping mothers stay of cigarettes afterwards.

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A major global public health issue

Approximately 18,887 pregnant smokers in the UK (3% of all maternities) used NHS stop-smoking support in the financial year 2014/15.1,2 This represents a considerable investment.

Dr Matthew Jones, Assistant Professor in Health Economics in the School of Medicine and Heath Sciences at The University of Nottingham, and lead author of the study, says, “Smoking during pregnancy is a major global public health issue:  a conservative estimate for the annual economic burden in the UK is £23.5 million and in the US $110 million. 

“Our report reveals a wide gulf between what pregnant women need to quit smoking and what our healthcare services currently provide.”

The research team that produced the report is from The University of Nottingham and works as part of the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies.  The study was funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Programme Grants for Applied Research programme.

A full copy fo the report can be found here.

1 Health and Social Care Information Centre. Statistics of Women's Smoking Status at Time of Delivery: England Quarter 4, 2014/15. 2015.

2 Health and Social Care Information Centre. Statistics of NHS Stop Smoking Services, England - April 2014 to March 2015. 2015.

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with a “distinct” approach to internationalisation, which rests on those full-scale campuses in China and Malaysia, as well as a large presence in its home city.’ (Times Good University Guide 2016). It is also one of the most popular universities in the UK among graduate employers and the winner of ‘Outstanding Support for Early Career Researchers’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2015. It is ranked in the world’s top 75 by the QS World University Rankings 2015/16, and 8th in the UK by research power according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014. It has been voted the world’s greenest campus for three years running, according to Greenmetrics Ranking of World Universities.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…


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For more information, please contact Dr Matthew Jones, Assistant Professor in Health Economics on

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