How can support for pregnant women who want to quit smoking be improved?

One possibility for improving smoking cessation support for pregnant women is by being able to refer them to a coach from addiction care (Verslavingszorg Noord-Nederland). This was found in Stella Weiland's PhD thesis. She will defend her thesis on the 10th of June.
Pregnant woman

In her PhD research, Weiland worked on improving smoking cessation support for pregnant women. In the Netherlands, 8% of pregnant women still smoke. Given the negative health effects of smoking on mother and child, it is important that pregnant women are optimally supported in quitting smoking.

Her thesis gained insight into women's needs regarding smoking cessation support, the influence of smoking during pregnancy on healthcare use, the association between socioeconomic status and social relationships on smoking and/or drinking during pregnancy, and the influence of the e-cigarette or tobacco cigarette use on maternal and child health outcomes. In addition, the intervention to refer pregnant women to a coach from addiction care (Verslavingszorg Noord-Nederland,VNN)) for smoking cessation support was implemented and evaluated in the Northern Netherlands. The team of researchers from the UMCG, AUMC and the Academy of Obstetrics Amsterdam Groningen, involved in Stella's thesis, conclude that addressing smoking cessation among pregnant women is a challenge influenced by several factors.

Weiland's thesis shows that the option of referring pregnant women to VNN is one way to improve smoking cessation support. Smoking cessation support for pregnant women can be further optimised by ensuring that every maternity collaboration unit has a smoking cessation policy and works according to it. Healthcare professionals and obstetrics students should receive additional training in motivational interviewing to have the skills to discuss pregnant women's smoking behaviour appropriately. Future research should focus on the use of financial rewards, the carbon monoxide meter and the e-cigarette in supporting smoking cessation in pregnant women.

World No Smoking Day

May 31 is World No Smoking Day; this is a day when extra attention is paid to the dangers of smoking and people are encouraged to quit smoking.