Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Smoking Cessation Health Center

Font Size

Nicotine Patches Don't Help Pregnant Women Quit Smoking: Study

Researchers also found those who used them had higher blood pressure than those who didn't

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Robert Preidt

HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, March 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Nicotine patches don't seem to help pregnant women quit smoking, a new study has found.

The study included 402 pregnant women in France who smoked at least five cigarettes a day. The women, who were 12 to 20 weeks' pregnant, were randomly selected to use either 16-hour nicotine patches or inactive placebo patches until they gave birth.

The study participants also received counseling to help them quit smoking and were assessed monthly. Only 5.5 percent of the women in the nicotine patch group and 5.1 percent of those in the placebo group quit smoking entirely, the investigators reported in the March 11 online edition of the BMJ.

The researchers also found that women in the nicotine patch group had significantly higher blood pressure than those in the placebo group. This suggests that future studies looking at nicotine replacement therapy in pregnant smokers should consider blood pressure, the study authors noted in a journal news release.

"These are disappointing results, and should encourage efforts to evaluate new approaches that are both drug- and non-drug-related," Dr. Ivan Berlin, of the Hopital Pitie-Salpetriere-Universite in Paris, and colleagues concluded. "In the absence of evidence-based drug interventions, behavioral support remains the core intervention to help pregnant smokers to quit."

Counseling was delayed during the first two weeks of the study and may explain why both groups of women had low rates of success in quitting smoking, Leonie Brose, of the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London, said in an accompanying editorial.

"It may be too early to abandon the option of [nicotine-replacement therapy] entirely," she wrote. "However, a much greater effort is still needed to identify, test and deliver more effective treatments for pregnant smokers who struggle to quit."

Today on WebMD

hands breaking a cigarette
Is quitting cold turkey an effective method?
14 tips to get you through the first hard days.
smoking man
Surprising impacts of tobacco on the body.
cigarette smoke
What happens when you kick the habit?

Filtered cigarettes
an array of e cigarettes
human heart
Woman experiencing withdrawal symptoms

man smoking cigarette
no smoking sign
Woman ashing cigarette in ashtray
chain watch