Nursing mothers more likely to stop breastfeeding earlier when living with smokers

Nursing mothers who live with two or more smokers are more likely to stop breastfeeding sooner than those who live in nonsmoking households. In a Hong Kong-based study, researchers discovered that these mothers are at 30 percent higher risk for ending breastfeeding before a year. This study can be found in Breastfeeding Medicine, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Breastfeeding Medicine website.

The study entitled, "The Effects of Secondary Cigarette Smoke from Household Members on Breastfeeding Duration: A Prospective Cohort Study," examines a cohort of 1,277 mother and baby pairs from four major hospitals in Hong Kong. Coauthors Kris Lok, Man Ping Wang, and Vincci Chan of the University of Hong Kong School of Nursing and Marie Tarrant of the University of British Columbia School of Nursing use self-reported questionnaires to collect demographic data, parental smoking habits, and other variable data. Researchers followed up with participants with a phone interview at 12 months or when they had finished breastfeeding. The study comes during a city-wide push to decrease smoking rates and increase breastfeeding duration.

"Once again we are reminded that cigarette smoking is not only dangerous to your health but also to the most vulnerable members of your household," says Arthur I. Eidelman, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Breastfeeding Medicine.

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