• Article

Women's perspectives on smoking and pregnancy and graphic warning labels

OBJECTIVES: To explore women's knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about adverse outcomes associated with smoking during pregnancy and which outcomes might motivate cessation; to explore reactions to graphic warnings depicting 2 adverse outcomes. METHODS: Twelve focus groups were conducted with women of childbearing age who were current smokers. RESULTS: Participants had low to moderate awareness of many outcomes and believed it was acceptable to smoke in the first trimester before knowledge of pregnancy. Perceived susceptibility to outcomes was low. Motivators included risk-focused information, especially serious risks to the baby (eg, stillbirth, SIDS). Graphic warnings produced strong reactions, especially the warning with a real photo. CONCLUSIONS: Despite barriers to reducing rates of smoking during pregnancy, educational information and photos depicting babies' risks could motivate women to quit


Levis, DM., Stone-Wiggins, B., O'Hegarty, M., Tong, VT., Polen, KN., Cassell, CH., & Council, M. (2014). Women's perspectives on smoking and pregnancy and graphic warning labels. American Journal of Health Behavior, 38(5), 755-764. https://doi.org/10.5993/AJHB.38.5.13

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