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Controversy and Evidence about Nicotine Replacement Therapy in Pregnancy

Forest, Sharron MSN, APRN, NNP-BC

MCN: The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing: March-April 2010 - Volume 35 - Issue 2 - p 89–95
doi: 10.1097/NMC.0b013e3181cafba4
Feature Article

Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is effective for smoking cessation, but much controversy surrounds its use during pregnancy. The importance of finding ways to help pregnant smokers quit is undisputed, since smoking during pregnancy causes harm to the mother and the fetus, with effects of smoke exposure extending into childhood. Researchers and providers are divided, however, with respect to opinions of safety and efficacy of NRT use in pregnant smokers. The research-based evidence on the topic is limited, but there are studies examining the efficacy of NRT in pregnancy. This article presents the evidence for this smoking cessation methodology in pregnancy.

Smoking cessation in pregnancy is so important. Should our pregnant patients be offered nicotine replacement?

Sharron Forest is a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner at Women & Children's Hospital Lake Charles, LA. Ms. Forest is currently a Doctoral Student at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. She can be reached via e-mail at

The author has disclosed that there are no financial relationships related to this article.

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.