A study by researchers at Pace University in New York found from an analysis of smoking data from 10 states collected between 1993 until 1999 found that the percentage of women who quit smoking rose from 37% to 46% during pregnancy. However, more than half of those were unable to remain ex-smokers six months after giving birth.
The study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine suggested that the results varied among groups. While teens were the most likely to return to smoking after giving birth, women with more education were more likely to quit and those with only a high school education had the lowest relapse rate. Women on Medicaid were found to have the lowest quit rate and the highest relapse rate.
The researchers concluded that the study provided the impetus for targeting anti-smoking therapies at women who have quit during pregnancy to help reduce the danger to infants and older children from second-hand smoke.