Introduction: Smoking rates in pregnant mothers remains unacceptably high despite the use of many different approaches. In South Wales smoking rates in this group remain high despite free access to professional cessation services. The aim of this study was to determine the barriers to smoking cessation.
Methods: A questionnaire was administered post-partum to 36 mothers who smoked throughout pregnancy and lived within the NHS Cwm Taf University Health Board catchment area, South Wales, UK.
Results: Most mothers (88%) reportedly reduced their daily smoking rate from between 11-15 to less than 10 per day, rather than cease. The majority (78%) did not use a smoking cessation service. The most common reason given for factors which stopped them using cessation services were issues around family support, such as lack of child care. When asked smoking cessation was considered difficult as pregnancy was a stressful time and withdrawal from smoking at this time was deemed to add to the stress.
Conclusion: There is no single factor identified that prevent women using professional smoking cessation services, family factors and further stress avoidance associated with quitting smoking were considered the main barriers. Selfhelp methods to quit were considered preferable such as nicotine replacement products. Reducing smoking rather than quitting altogether was seen as the easiest option.