Which measures of cigarette dependence are predictors of smoking cessation during pregnancy? Analysis of data from a randomized controlled trial

Muhammad Riaz, Sarah Lewis, Tim Coleman, Paul Aveyard, Robert West, Felix Naughton, Michael Ussher

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Aims: To examine the ability of different common measures of cigarette dependence to predict smoking cessation during pregnancy. 

Design: Secondary analysis of data from a parallel-group randomized controlled trial of physical activity for smoking cessation. The outcomes were biochemically validated smoking abstinence at 4 weeks post-quit and end-of-pregnancy. 

Setting: Women identified as smokers in antenatal clinics in 13 hospital trusts predominantly in southern England, who were recruited to a smoking cessation trial. 

Participants: Of 789 pregnant smokers recruited, 784 were included in the analysis. 

Measurements: Using random-effect logistic regression models, we analysed the effects of baseline measures of cigarette dependence, including numbers of cigarettes smoked daily, Fagerström Test of Cigarette Dependence (FTCD) score, the two FTCD subscales of Heaviness of Smoking Index (HSI) and non-Heaviness of Smoking Index (non-HSI), expired carbon monoxide (CO) level and urges to smoke (strength and frequency) on smoking cessation. Associations were adjusted for significant socio-demographic/health behaviour predictors and trial variables, and area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was used to determine the predictive ability of the model for each measure of dependence. 

Findings: All the dependence variables predicted abstinence at 4 weeks and end-of-pregnancy. At 4 weeks, the adjusted odds ratio (OR) (95% confidence interval) for a unit standard deviation increase in FTCD was 0.59 (0.47–0.74), expired CO = 0.54 (0.41–0.71), number of cigarettes smoked per day 0.65 (0.51–0.84) and frequency of urges to smoke 0.79 (0.63–0.98); at end-of-pregnancy they were: 0.60 (0.45–0.81), 0.55 (0.37–0.80), 0.70 (0.49–0.98) and 0.69 (0.51–0.94), respectively. HSI and non-HSI exhibited similar results to the full FTCD. 

Conclusions: Four common measures of dependence, including number of cigarettes smoked per day, scores for Fagerström Test of Cigarette Dependence and frequency of urges and level of expired CO, all predicted smoking abstinence in the short term during pregnancy and at end-of-pregnancy with very similar predictive validity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1656-1665
Number of pages10
Issue number9
Early online date6 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2016


  • Cigarette dependence measures
  • physical activity
  • predictors
  • pregnancy
  • randomised control trial
  • secondary analysis
  • smoking cessation

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