Investigating N-3 Fatty Acids to prevent Neonatal Tobacco-related outcomeS (INFANTS): study protocol for a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled parallel clinical trial of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in pregnant smokers.


Tobacco use during pregnancy is the most important modifiable risk factor associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes, increasing the risk of preterm birth, intrauterine growth restriction and sudden infant death syndrome. Fewer than half of pregnant smokers can quit on their own. Identifying safe and effective therapies to prevent tobacco-related adverse pregnancy outcomes and/or increase smoking cessation in pregnant women would have a substantial public health impact. Cigarette smoking is associated with a relative deficiency in circulating n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 LCPUFA) levels. A recent analysis found that smokers taking n-3 LCPUFAs during pregnancy had a reduction in preterm labor risk when compared to non-smokers. Studies have shown that supplemental n-3 LCPUFAs may also reduce nicotine cravings and daily cigarette use. Thus, smokers may benefit from supplemental n-3 LCPUFAs by lowering the risk of preterm labor and/or increased smoking cessation. To address important remaining knowledge gaps, we propose the Investigating N-3 Fatty Acids to prevent Neonatal Tobacco related outcomeS (INFANTS).