Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Document Type





Kinesiology and Health Promotion

First Advisor

Dr. Melody Noland


The purpose of this study was to investigate the influences of smoking on rural and urban pregnant women. More specifically, the variables of the knowledge of health effects, health provider recommendations, subscores from the Health Belief Model (HBM), and social support were explored in relation to the smoking behavior of pregnant women. A secondary purpose was to investigate the accuracy of self-reported smoking during pregnancy using biochemical validation. Pregnant women (N=71) completed an anonymous questionnaire, designed by the researcher, to identify variables that predicted smoking for urban and rural women. Participants also gave a saliva sample for cotinine testing.

Approximately 47% of rural participants and 49% of urban participants were classified as smokers. The overall smoking deception rate for the current study was 5.6%. The deception rate for rural and urban participants in this study was 2.8% and 8.6%, respectively. Variables were entered into a standard multiple regression analysis to predict smoking status of the pregnant women. Participants reporting barriers (a component of the HBM) to stopping smoking during pregnancy were significantly less likely to be smokers.

Through t-test and chi-square analyses, other variables related to smoking status during pregnancy included: Marital status, financial source for the pregnancy, living with husband or boyfriend, mean scores of the participants‘ knowledge of the health effects of smoking during pregnancy, susceptibility and benefits (constructs of the HBM). Many healthcare providers performed 1A, 2A, and 3A; however, few completed the last step of 4A and none completed 5A.

Implications for health promotion specialists include an increase in the education of pregnant women about the health risks of maternal smoking. Additional training for pre-natal healthcare providers is necessary in order to increase the number of healthcare providers that implement all of the 5A‘s. It is important to include the husband/boyfriend in any smoking cessation interventions since they have daily influence on the smoking status of the pregnant woman. Money used to conduct biochemical verification of maternal smoking status could be better spent on patient education of the health risks of smoking during pregnancy and physician education in implementing all 5A‘s in daily practice.