Nicotine gum helps pregnant women decrease amount of smoking, research says

WASHINGTON Although nicotine gum does not necessarily increase quit rates among pregnant women, the non-prescription smoking cessation product does help reduce the amount of smoking to the point that use of nicotine gum increased birth weight and gestational age, two key parameters in predicting neonatal wellbeing, new research published last week in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology has found.

The study tracked pregnant women who smoked daily and received individualized behavioral counseling and random assignment to a 6-week treatment with 2-mg nicotine gum or placebo followed by a 6-week taper period. Women who did not quit smoking were instructed to reduce the number of cigarettes smoked by substituting with gum.

Using a completer analysis, nicotine gum significantly reduced the number of cigarettes smoked per day and cotinine concentration. Birth weights were significantly greater with nicotine gum compared with placebo. Gestational age was also greater with nicotine-replacement therapy than with placebo, the research found.

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