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Attitudes to E-Cigarettes and Cessation Support for Pregnant Women from English Stop Smoking Services: A Mixed Methods Study

Cooper, Sue; Orton, Sophie; Campbell, Katarzyna; Ussher, Michael; Coleman-Haynes, Naomi; Whitemore, Rachel; Dickinson, Anne; McEwen, Andy; Lewis, Sarah; Naughton, Felix; Bowker, Katharine; Sinclair, Lesley; Bauld, Linda; Coleman, Tim


Sue Cooper

Felix Naughton

Katharine Bowker

Lesley Sinclair

Linda Bauld

Tim Coleman

Sophie Orton

Katarzyna Campbell

Michael Ussher

Naomi Coleman-Haynes

Rachel Whitemore

Anne Dickinson

Andy McEwen

Sarah Lewis


April McCambridge


Smoking in pregnancy remains a public health problem. In the UK e-cigarettes are the most popular aid to quitting smoking outside of pregnancy, but we don’t know the extent of e-cigarette use in pregnancy or how English Stop Smoking Services (SSS) respond to pregnant women who vape. In 2015 we surveyed SSS managers about cessation support for pregnant women and responses to
clients who vaped. Subsequently we interviewed a sub-sample of managers to seek explanations for the SSS’ position on e-cigarettes; interviews were thematically analysed. Survey response rate was 67.8% (72/106); overall managers reported 2.2% (range 1.4–4.3%) of pregnant clients were using e-cigarettes. Most SSS reported supporting pregnant women who already vaped, but would not recommend e-cigarette use; for women that were still smoking and not using e-cigarettes, 8.3% of SSS were likely/very likely to advise using e-cigarettes, with 56.9% of SSS unlikely/very unlikely to advise using them. Fifteen respondents were interviewed; interviewees were generally positive about the potential of e-cigarettes for cessation in pregnancy although concerns about perceived lack of evidence for safety were expressed and most wanted research on this. Clear guidance on e-cigarette use informed by pregnancy specific research will assist SSS to provide consistent evidence-based support.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 3, 2019
Journal International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Print ISSN 1660-4601
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 16
Issue 1
Article Number 110
Keywords smoking cessation; smoking; pregnancy; e-cigarettes; electronic cigarettes; stop smoking services; survey; interviews; mixed methods
Publisher URL
Additional Information This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution
(CC BY) license (


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