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Longitudinal cohort survey of women's smoking behaviour and attitudes in pregnancy: study methods and baseline data

Orton, Sophie; Bowker, Katharine; Cooper, Sue; Naughton, Felix; Ussher, Michael; Pickett, Kate E.; Leonardi-Bee, Jo; Sutton, Stephen; Dhalwani, Nafeesa N.; Coleman, Tim


Felix Naughton

Michael Ussher

Kate E. Pickett

Professor of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology

Stephen Sutton

Nafeesa N. Dhalwani

Professor of Primary Care


Objectives: To report methods used to assemble a contemporary pregnancy cohort for investigating influences on smoking behaviour before, during and after pregnancy and to report characteristics of women recruited.

Design: Longitudinal cohort survey.

Setting: Two maternity hospitals, Nottingham, England.

Participants: 3,265 women who attended antenatal ultrasound scan clinics were offered cohort enrolment; those who were 8-26 weeks pregnant and were currently smoking or had recently stopped smoking were eligible. Cohort enrolment took place between August 2011 and August 2012.

Primary and secondary outcome measures: Prevalence of smoking at cohort entry and at two follow-up time points (34-36 weeks gestation and three months postnatally); response rate, participants’ sociodemographic characteristics.

Results: 1101 (33.7%, 95% CI=32.1%–35.4%) women were eligible for inclusion in the cohort, and of these 850 (77.2%, 95% CI=74.6%-79.6%) were recruited. Within the cohort, 57.4% (N = 488, 95% CI=54.1%-60.7%) reported to be current smokers. Current smokers were significantly younger than ex-smokers (P < 0.05), more likely to have no formal qualifications and to not be in current paid employment compared to recent ex-smokers (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: This contemporary cohort, which seeks very detailed information on smoking in pregnancy and its determinants, includes women with comparable sociodemographic characteristics to those in other UK cross sectional studies and cohorts. This suggests that future analyses using this cohort and aimed at understanding smoking behaviour in pregnancy may produce findings that are broadly generalisable.


Orton, S., Bowker, K., Cooper, S., Naughton, F., Ussher, M., Pickett, K. E., …Coleman, T. (2014). Longitudinal cohort survey of women's smoking behaviour and attitudes in pregnancy: study methods and baseline data. BMJ Open, 4(5),

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date May 14, 2014
Deposit Date Mar 23, 2015
Publicly Available Date Mar 23, 2015
Journal BMJ Open
Electronic ISSN 2044-6055
Publisher BMJ Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 4
Issue 5
Keywords Smoking, Tobacco, Pregnancy, Prenatal, Smoking cessation, Smoking in pregnancy
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BMJ open Longitudinal cohort survey of women's smoking behaviour (BMJ open) resubmission2.pdf (604 Kb)

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