Introduction While endogenous sex hormones influence smoking-related outcomes, little is known about the role of hormonal contraceptives (HCs). This is despite dated estimates suggesting that HC use is prevalent among female smokers. Therefore, we sought to update estimates of the prevalence of HC use among female smokers and explore the association of HC use with various smoking motives (SMs). Methods This online cross-sectional survey recruited female smokers between the ages of 18–35. Survey questions assessed smoking behavior, SMs, use of HCs, and menstrual cycle regularity. Results Participants (n = 734) were, on average (± standard deviation), 20.7 ± 2.7 years old and smoked 7.3 ± 6.7 cigarettes/day. The majority of females reported a history of HC use (85%) and half reported current use (48%). Cyclical HC users (n = 227) scored significantly lower on three SMs compared to naturally-cycling women in the follicular phase (n = 62) and significantly higher on 15 SMs compared to naturally-cycling women in the luteal phase (n = 29). Women on cyclical HCs differed from women on long-acting HCs (n = 128) on two SMs. Further, the naturally-cycling women in the follicular phase scoring significantly higher on 15 SMs compared to those in the luteal phase. Discussion These observations indicate that HC use remains prevalent in female smokers and may influence SMs. Additional research should replicate these observations and explore the implications on smoking cessation outcomes.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Research is supported by the Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health Grant (# K12HD055887 ) from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the Office of Research on Women's Health , and the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), administered by the University of Minnesota Deborah E. Powell Center for Women's Health. Study data were collected and managed using REDCap electronic data capture tools hosted at the University of Minnesota. Therefore, additional support was provided by Award Number UL1TR000114 from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) of the NIH. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NICHD, NCATS or NIH.
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