Smoking cessation among disadvantaged young women during and after pregnancy: Exploring the role of social networks

Marloes E. Derksen*, Anton E. Kunst, Laxsini Murugesu, Monique W. M. Jaspers, Mirjam P. Fransen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective: Smoking prevalence during and after pregnancy remains high among socioeconomically disadvantaged, European women. This research aims to gain insight into the role of social networks on smoking cessation among disadvantaged young women during and after pregnancy. Design: Qualitative interview study. Setting: Dutch preventive care program (VoorZorg). Participants: Disadvantaged young women during and after pregnancy (n = 17) who participated in a Dutch preventive care program, and members in their social networks (n = 4). Methods: All qualitative interviews were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed by iterative coding processes. Findings: Many women were not intrinsically motivated to quit smoking due to, amongst other factors, difficulties in their lives (e.g. domestic violence, psychosocial problems), limited supportive social networks, and a strong dependence on relatives who smoked. Women seemed to be prompted to smoke by smoking cues in their social networks, while distancing from smokers would lead to feelings of social exclusion. When attempting to stop smoking, women experienced little encouragement from their social networks, which instead often undermined their smoking cessation efforts. Key conclusions and implications for practice: The social networks of disadvantaged young women mostly had a negative role on their smoking cessation efforts. Our results emphasize the need to look at interventions that involve women's social networks, and explore novel opportunities, such as eHealth and mHealth applications so that these women cancan build supportive new social networks.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102985
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021

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