Although 20 percent to 40 percent of pregnant smokers stop smoking sometime during pregnancy, a significant number continue smoking, and most return to smoking in the first six months after the birth of the baby.
From 1994 to 1997, researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health worked to identify critical "markers" of successful smoking cessation or reduction for women during pregnancy, and to determine whether such intermediate indices are reliable for the longer term.
Researchers developed a unique model to obtain a comprehensive, longitudinal, and naturalistic view of the processes of pregnancy and postpartum smoking cessation.
The model uses measures of the stages and processes of change, decisional considerations, and smoking abstinence self-efficacy.
Results indicate that confidence in abstaining from smoking was the most consistent predictor of not smoking and not returning to smoking.