The authors present findings from a qualitative study on postpartum smoking among low-income women (N = 44) who had been smokers at the onset of pregnancy. Interview data collected after delivery at Months 1, 3, and 6 postpartum are discussed to explore contextual factors contributing to smoking abstinence, relapse, and harm-reduction practices. By 6 months postpartum, 10 women (23%) had completely quit, 21 women (48%) had reduced their smoking by 50% of their prepregnancy levels, and 7 women (16%) had reduced their smoking by one third of their prepregnancy levels. Thus, the majority of the women were engaging in significant harm-reduction efforts despite being entrenched in high-risk smoking environments where they were provided with few messages to quit. Many mothers were concerned about their moral identity as a smoker and expressed concerns that their child might initiate smoking at an early age. Future programs targeting this population should acknowledge women's harm-reduction efforts in environments where smoking is normative.
- Postpartum care
- Tobacco and health
- Women's health
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health