Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 525–533 | Cite as

Smoking Cessation during Pregnancy and Relapse after Childbirth: The Impact of the Grandmother’s Smoking Status

  • Sakari LemolaEmail author
  • Alexander Grob


Objectives Smoking during pregnancy can result in negative effects in exposed children. It is well established that the smoking status of husbands is a major predictor of smoking among pregnant women. It was investigated whether the smoking status of the women’s parents and parents-in-law has an impact on smoking cessation during pregnancy and relapse after birth above the smoking status of the husband. Method An initial sample of 458 women and their husbands was assessed prospectively during a 17-month period after birth regarding smoking habits. Five months after birth the women and their husbands reported the smoking status of their own parents. Results Smoking during pregnancy was related to the smoking status of the women’s husband and mother. Women with a husband and mother who smoke were more likely to continue smoking. Relapse after smoking cessation during pregnancy was related to the smoking status of the husband and the mother-in-law. The smoking status of the women’s father and father-in-law was not related to smoking cessation or relapse. Conclusion The smoking status of the pregnant women’s mothers and mothers-in-law is related to fetal and newborn’s nicotine exposure. The findings suggest benefits of taking the smoking status of pregnant women’s mothers and mothers-in-law into account in smoking prevention programs for pregnant women and mothers with infants.


Smoking cessation and relapse Pregnancy Grandparental smoking status Smoking status of the husband 



This study was conducted within the research project “Substance use and psychosocial risk of mothers in Switzerland” which was supported by the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (SFOPH Decree—No. 03.001623 to Prof. Dr. A. Grob). We thank Daniela Bielinski, Chantal Jaussi, Astrid Marty, and Andrea Pfyffer for their support in this research project, Dr. D. Coall and S. Staub for their invaluable help in reviewing and proofreading the manuscript, and the mothers who participated in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Personality and Developmental PsychologyUniversity of BaselBaselSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of Personality and Developmental PsychologyUniversity of BaselBaselSwitzerland

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