Smoking prevalence and smoking cessation services for pregnant women in Scotland

David Tappin, Susan MacAskill, Linda Bauld, Douglas Eadie, Debbie Shipton, Linsey Galbraith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Over 20% of women smoke throughout pregnancy despite the known risks to mother and child. Engagement in face-to-face support is a good measure of service reach. The Scottish Government has set a target that by 2010 8% of smokers will quit. At present less than 4% stop during pregnancy. We aimed to establish a denominator for pregnant smokers in Scotland and describe the proportion who are referred to specialist services, engage in one-to-one counselling, set a quit date and quit 4 weeks later. In Scotland, a small proportion of pregnant smokers are supported to stop. Poor outcomes are a product of current limitations to each step of service provision - identification, referral, engagement and treatment. Many smokers are not asked about smoking at maternity booking or provide false information. Carbon monoxide breath testing can bypass this difficulty. Identified smokers may not be referred but an opt-out referral policy can remove this barrier. Engagement at home allowed a greater proportion to set a quit date and quit, but costs were higher.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSubstance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2010


  • smoking cessation
  • pregnancy
  • midwife
  • self report
  • statistical analysis
  • compliance analysis
  • Scotland
  • Smoking cessation
  • Pregnant women Tobacco use
  • Pregnant women Services for Scotland


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