Cigarettes are a 'way of getting that patience,' young mother says

A study at the University of Prince Edward Island is looking into ways of getting past some of the unique challenges pregnant teenagers and young mothers face when trying to quit smoking.

A study at the University of Prince Edward Island is looking into ways of getting past some of the unique challenges pregnant teenagers and young mothers face when trying to quit smoking. It's common knowledge that smoking is bad for unborn babies. But psychology professor Colleen MacQuarrie, one of the researchers with the project, said the UPEI study is finding the stresses of teen pregnancy and motherhood make quitting that much More difficult. "What some of these young women talk about is if I don't smoke, I can't be calm enough to be a good parent," MacQuarrie said. "So before you take away that, you need to have something else." Over the last two years, the researchers have worked with about a dozen young mothers to try to understand why they smoked through their pregnancies, to help them find that something else, and find a way to make it easier for them and other teenagers to quit. "When I had Brody I was young, and I didn't have the kind of patience," young mother Ashley Fraser said. "When I began it was really hard. I found that quiet time, that cigarette, was just my way of getting that patience back." Organizers are still looking for pregnant teenagers who smoke to interview for the research project.

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