Health

Many pregnant ex-smokers resume after delivery due to weight worries

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Oct. 2, 2006

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Smokers who gave up the habit during pregnancy were less motivated to continue refraining from tobacco use if they were concerned about weight gain, according to a study published in the October Annals of Behavioral Medicine.

Researchers interviewed 119 women in the third trimester who had smoked at least eight cigarettes a day but quit when they learned they were pregnant. Most did not want to resume smoking, but those who were less motivated were also more likely to use smoking for weight control. They were also less capable of managing their weight by other methods.

The authors suggest that interventions targeting women after delivery will need to address weight issues; they also intend to study the link between weight concerns, motivation and actual smoking behavior.

"The next step is to see if weight concerns play a role in women's actual behavior, beyond motivation, and to understand the best way to target this vulnerability with treatment," said Michele Levine, PhD, lead author and assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2006/10/02/hlbf1002.htm.

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