Journal of Public Health

, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 267–274 | Cite as

Analysis of smoking cessation beliefs in pregnant smokers and ex-smokers using the Theory of Planned Behavior

  • Katrien De Wilde
  • Lea Maes
  • Hedwig Boudrez
  • Inge Tency
  • Marleen Temmerman
  • Els Clays
Original Article



To analyze the association between smoking cessation beliefs and smoking status, and between smoking cessations beliefs and intention to quit, using the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB).

Subjects and methods

An observational study using a questionnaire was performed; data were collected from 264 Flemish pregnant smokers and ex-smokers before week 16 of pregnancy.


There was a significant difference in the behavioral beliefs of the TPB between smokers and ex-smokers, after controlling for education and age. All respondents experienced more support from their non-smoking partners to maintain abstinence during pregnancy. We found no significant difference in the behavioral beliefs of the TPB between respondents with low and high intention to quit smoking.


Our results suggest that attitude, subjective norms, support especially from the partner, and perceived behavioral control are associated with actual smoking behavior in pregnant women and not with intention to quit smoking. It is important to engage the partner and/or significant others in smoking cessation counselling so that they can support the pregnant woman in an attempt to quit or to maintain abstinence.


Theory of planned behavior Determinants Smoking cessation Pregnancy 



The authors would like to thank Kathleen Temmerman, MSc, Vera Balduyck, MSc, Marc Coenen, MD, Head of the Department of Gynecology-Obstetrics, Algemeen Ziekenhuis Nikolaas [General Hospital Nikolaas], Ellen Smolders, Registered Midwife, all gynecologists and midwives of the Prenatal Consultation Unit of the University Hospital Ghent, participating gynecologists, and independent midwives for their administrative, technical, and material support.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katrien De Wilde
    • 1
  • Lea Maes
    • 2
  • Hedwig Boudrez
    • 3
  • Inge Tency
    • 1
  • Marleen Temmerman
    • 4
  • Els Clays
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of HealthOdisee University CollegeSint-NiklaasBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health SciencesGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  3. 3.Stop-smoking ClinicGhent University HospitalGhentBelgium
  4. 4.Department of Obstetrics and GynaecologyGhent UniversityGhentBelgium

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