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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health

Building capacity for a tobacco-free world

July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA

Thursday, July 13, 2006 - 12:00 PM

Smoking and Pregnancy: Perspectives, Practices and Needs of Health Professionals

Carlota Simões Raposo, BS, Paulo D. Vitória, MA, Filipa Peixoto, BS, and M. Pais Clemente, PhD, MD. Portuguese Council for Smoking Prevention, Av. dos E.U.A., 53D - 4º, Lisbon, 1700-165, Portugal

Objective: Smoking during pregnancy has been associated with spontaneous abortion, premature birth and low birth weight. The children of mothers who smoke have a higher risk of sudden death, otites, asthma and other respiratory problems. This study describes how health professionals working with pregnant women see smoking during pregnancy and how they deal with this problem.

Methods: Questionnaires about smoking and pregnancy were sent by letter to 236 primary care Health Centres. Each centre could fill in more than one questionnaire. We received 271 questionnaires filled in, 254 by GP's and 17 by other health professionals. The subjects mean age was 46.7, 32.8% were women; 21.4 were smokers, 39.3 former smokers and 39.3 never smokers.

Results: Almost all participants (95.6%) agreed that the absence of tobacco smoke during pregnancy is very important for the baby. Among pregnant women, subjects estimated that an average of 13.6% are daily smokers, 10.6% are occasional smokers, 43.6% quitted and 65.8% reduced. The average time used by professionals for counselling about smoking is 22 minutes and the average time they would like to have is 50 minutes. To offer self-helped materials and to discuss a quit date are the main elements of the intervention done by this professionals. Only 7% of participants had had training about smoking and pregnancy and 81% answered they feel a high need of training and support to help pregnant women who smoke to quit.