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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

E-cigarette Knowledge and Use Patterns among Pregnant Women
by Ward, Nicole, Ph.D., University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 2019, 98; 27667389
Abstract (Summary)


The aims of this study were to describe pregnant women’s (a) knowledge about health and pregnancy effects from e-cigarette use, (b) primary source of information about e-cigarette risks and benefits, (c) where, when, why, and how often they use their e-cigarettes, and (d) their plans for e-cigarette or tobacco use after pregnancy.


Smoking is a risk factor for adverse perinatal outcomes, yet support for smoking cessation during pregnancy is limited, and the relapse rate during the first year after delivery is high. E-cigarettes are the newest product in nicotine delivery and may present an attractive option to pregnant smokers. However, their use and safety among pregnant women is unclear.


Descriptive phenomenology was used to explore the lived experiences of women who used an e-cigarette during pregnancy. Pregnant and postpartum e-cigarette users were recruited through purposive sampling. After a demographic questionnaire, interviews were completed, transcribed, reviewed, and analyzed using Ethnograph software.


Ten women participated in the study. Participants realized the dangers of smoking and nicotine during pregnancy, but felt e-cigarettes were a safer alternative. Primary sources of information were friends, family, and e-cigarette retailers. They received little information about e-cigarettes at pre- or postnatal visits. They also perceived a lack of support for smoking cessation at pre- and postnatal visits. Women who were previous smokers had unsuccessfully attempted smoking cessation in the past using other methods. Women used the e-cigarette around their children and indoors, but all agreed they would not do this with a traditional cigarette.


Lack of evidence regarding benefits or harms of e-cigarette use during pregnancy limits the obstetric provider’s ability to engage patients in meaningful conversations about these products. This may be perceived by patients as lack of support for smoking cessation during and after pregnancy. There is also a gap in patient education regarding safety and passive exposure to e-cigarettes.


This study highlights the need for stronger education about e-cigarette use for pregnant and post-partum women. Any effort to stop smoking should be encouraged and supported in this population. Nurses are suited to address this gap by providing education and support.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Barone, Claudia P.
Commitee: Wright, Patricia, deGravelles, Pamela, Anders, Michael, Rhoads, Sarah
School: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Department: Nursing Science
School Location: United States -- Arkansas
Source: DAI-B 81/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Obstetrics, Behavioral psychology
Keywords: E-cigarettes, Nicotine, Obstetrics, Pregnancy, Tobacco, Vaping
Publication Number: 27667389
ISBN: 9798607310820
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