Reducing tobacco smoking and smoke exposure to prevent preterm birth and its complications

Mary-Ann Wagijo, Aziz Sheikh, Liesbeth Duijts, Jasper V Been

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tobacco smoking and smoke exposure during pregnancy are associated with a range of adverse health outcomes, including preterm birth. Also, children born preterm have a higher risk of complications including bronchopulmonary dysplasia and asthma when their mothers smoked during pregnancy. Smoking cessation in early pregnancy can help reduce the adverse impact on offspring health. Counselling interventions are effective in promoting smoking cessation and reducing the incidence of preterm birth. Peer support and incentive-based approaches are likely to be of additional benefit, whereas the effectiveness of pharmacological interventions, including nicotine replacement therapy, has not definitely been established. Smoke-free legislation can help reduce smoke exposure as well as maternal smoking rates at a population level, and is associated with a reduction in preterm birth. Helping future mothers to stop smoking and protect their children from second hand smoke exposure must be a key priority for health care workers and policy makers alike.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPaediatric respiratory reviews
Early online date21 Sep 2015
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Sep 2015


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