Mothers' Opinions Matter Study (MOMS)

Pregnancy offers a unique time when many women who smoke are motivated to quit for the health of their unborn fetus. The harmful effects of smoking during pregnancy are well documented. Unfortunately, the majority of women who quit smoking during their pregnancies will begin smoking again within six months of delivery.

We designed The Mothers' Opinions Matter Study (MOMS) to understand the motivational factors and environmental cues associated with smoking cessation maintenance or smoking relapse among postpartum women over time. A secondary aim was to determine if offering medication to assist women in remaining smoke-free was a viable option for women.

Thirty-two pregnant and postpartum women from a variety of clinics in New Hampshire and Vermont were recruited for the study. All had quit smoking during their pregnancy. To date, we have completed 150 interviews with the women to assess their smoking status and to explore the complexity of staying smoke-free throughout their first year postpartum.

Some of the preliminary findings include:

  • Women are generally not interested in medication to prevent relapse until they have had a smoking or near-smoking incident.
  • Women have varied motivations for staying smoke-free, including the health of the child, setting a positive example, and the short and long-term benefits to their own health.
  • Most women wanted to stay smoke-free; slips were usually spontaneous and situational.
  • Smoke-free homes were enforced by a majority of the participants.