Trying To Quit Smoking?
Stress is related to cessation success for pregnant women
Many people are aware of the adverse health consequences associated with smoking and are trying to quit. The consequences of smoking get worse when a woman becomes pregnant. She is not only putting herself in danger but also her unborn child. Consequently, it is especially important to understand what influences the chances of cessation success for pregnant women. Researchers at the Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, the University of Washington, and the University of Minnesota recently took on the challenge.
What was the research about?
Eight hundred and nineteen pregnant smokers in two large cities participated in a smoking cessation study. They were randomly assigned to one of three types of programs designed to help them quit smoking, and they were surveyed at multiple times before, during, and after pregnancy. Among other things, information was gathered on smoking behavior and stress.
The findings showed that smoking cessation was related to low levels of stress in early but not late pregnancy. In other words, less stress only was related to being able to quit smoking early on during pregnancy, not later on during pregnancy. Thus, it is possible that reducing stress early in pregnancy may make it easier to quit smoking. It is also possible, however, that quitting smoking early in pregnancy serves as a stress reducer.
Why should it matter to me?
Women who smoke and who have not been pregnant for too long may find that stress reduction can help them quit smoking. Alternatively, quitting smoking early on during pregnancy may help women reduce the stress in their lives.Source: Ludman, E. J., McBride, C. M., Nelson, J. C., Curry, S. J., Grothaus, L. C., Lando, H. A., & Pirie, P. L. (2000). Stress, depressive symptoms, and smoking cessation among pregnant women. Health Psychology, 19,21-27.