HPRC Faculty Member Conducting Research on Health Behaviors During Pregnancy


Published: Thursday, February 18, 2021

Tobacco regulatory science researcher Amy Cohn, Ph.D. received a $75,000 Pediatrics Team Science Grant from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and University Hospitals Authority and Trust to investigate the trajectory of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDs, e-cigarettes) use across pregnancy.

ENDs are the second most prevalent tobacco product used during pregnancy, and are often perceived to the tobacco user as a "harm reduction tool." While the negative neonatal outcomes associated with smoking combustible cigarettes are well-established, no studies have examined the use of ENDs and dual use of ENDs with other combustible tobacco products together over the course of pregnancy.

The aim of the pilot study is to: determine the feasibility of recruiting and retaining the target population of pregnant women into this type of study; establish the trajectory of ENDs use across pregnancy; and examine differences between ENDs users only, dual users of ENDs and combustible tobacco products, and non-users on day-to-day patterns and correlates of ENDs use, tobacco use, and non-use.

This study will recruit and enroll 54 pregnant women who are being seen at an OU Health outpatient clinic. Survey data will be collected once daily via a smartphone app for 3-months (12 weeks) to assess patterns of e-cigarette and combustible tobacco product use and dual use, and the relations between use and health risk perceptions, mood, and nicotine craving. Eligible women who participate in the study will receive compensation. For more information, email is MyHealth@ouhsc.edu or call 405-271-7759

Cohn said, "this study will help us understand more about the factors that drive health behaviors, including tobacco use, during pregnancy. The findings are also intended to inform the development of practitioner guidelines about how to speak to women about the potential health harms of tobacco use, including e-cigarette use, on birth and pregnancy outcomes."

The HPRC receives funding from OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center via an NCI Cancer Center Support Grant (P30CA225520) and the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust grant R21-02.