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Preventing Relapse

Staying Smoke-Free During Pregnancy and After

If you quit to protect your unborn child from the adverse health effects of smoking, good. But quitting can be hard to sustain, especially with the added stress of taking care of a newborn child, new financial pressures, depression, or a partner who still smokes.

National figures show that between 70% and 90% of pregnant mothers who quit return to tobacco use within one year after giving birth, and data collected from the 2003 Maine Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) suggests a similar trend in Maine.

Why are relapse rates so high?

Studies show certain population segments are particularly vulnerable to relapse. For instance, it’s easier to relapse if:

A woman’s motivation to quit is another important factor. Usually smokers cycle through a series of stages when they quit that pregnant women seldom do. Instead, pregnant women quit when they learn they are pregnant. Because they weren’t internally motivated, they often only quit for the duration of the pregnancy.

How Can I Prevent Relapse?

PTM is working to reduce smoking prevalence rates among women, especially those who are most vulnerable to relapse. If you are pregnant or a new mother, there are ways to stay tobacco free.

Learn more about how to stay tobacco free at our Quit Tobacco page.

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