Attitudes to E-cigarettes and cessation support for pregnant women from english stop smoking services: A mixed methods study

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

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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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jan 2019


  • E-cigarettes
  • Electronic cigarettes
  • Interviews
  • Mixed methods
  • Pregnancy
  • Smoking
  • Smoking cessation
  • Stop smoking services
  • Survey

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