TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN0 — Quitting smoking is a challenge for many Americans, but according to Dr. Alicia Allen, women in postpartum may have it the hardest.
"Even though half, or maybe even 60% of pregnant women, quit smoking, almost all of them relapse within a year of having a baby. That's what we're trying to prevent," said Allen, an assistant professor at the University of Arizona's College of Medicine.
Allen is leading up what is called the PEACH Project. The new study will look at contraceptive hormones and find out if they can help new moms kick cigarettes to the curb.
"Our hope is that we can increase the good hormones and decrease the bad hormones. Hopefully, that will make women crave fewer cigarettes. Even if they do smoke a cigarette, it won't feel not as good as it normally does," said Allen.
The National Institutes of Health gave the University of Arizona $3 Million to support the study. The PEACH Project is hoping to recruit 80 women to participate over the next four to five years.
"We're looking for women between the ages of 18 and 40. Obviously, they need to be pregnant, have quit smoking during pregnancy and want to stay smoke-free after they have their baby," said Allen.
Women who participate in the study will visit a clinic seven times for testing. Allen hopes they will all leave smoke-free.
"Hopefully, at the end of the day, we can tell women how to modify their hormones and that could ultimately prevent relapse to smoking during postpartum," said Allen.
To learn how to get involved in the PEACH Project, click here.