Smoking during pregnancy: Childbirth and Health Study in Primary Care in Iceland

Asthildur Erlingsdottir*, Emil L. Sigurdsson, Jon Steinar Jonsson, Hildur Kristjansdottir, Johann A. Sigurdsson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Objective. To study the prevalence and possible predictors for smoking during pregnancy in Iceland. Design. A cross-sectional study. Setting. Twenty-six primary health care centres in Iceland 2009-2010. Subjects. Women attending antenatal care in the 11th-16th week of pregnancy were invited to participate by convenient consecutive manner, stratifi ed according to residency. A total of 1111 women provided data in this fi rst phase of the cohort study. Main outcome measures. Smoking habits before and during early pregnancy were assessed with a postal questionnaire, which also included questions about socio-demographic background, physical and emotional well-being, and use of medications. Results. The prevalence of smoking prior to pregnancy was 20% (223/1111). During early pregnancy, it was 5% (53/1111). In comparison with women who stopped smoking during early pregnancy, those who continued to smoke had on average a signifi cantly lower level of education, had smoked more cigarettes per day before pregnancy, and were more likely to use nicotine replacement therapy in addition to smoking during pregnancy. A higher number of cigarettes consumed per day before pregnancy and a lower level of education were the strongest predictors for continued smoking during pregnancy. Conclusion. The majority of Icelandic women who smoke stop when they become pregnant, and the prevalence of smoking during pregnancy in Iceland is still about 5%. Our results indicate stronger nicotine dependence in women who do not stop smoking during pregnancy. Awareness of this can help general practitioners (GPs) and others providing antenatal care to approach these women with more insight and empathy, which might theoretically help them to quit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-16
Number of pages6
JournalScandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Informa Healthcare.

Other keywords

  • Antenatal care
  • Childbirth and health
  • General practice
  • Iceland
  • Pregnancy
  • Primary health care
  • Smoking habits


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