CDC Breaks Down Figures for Smoking Prevalence During Pregnancy

Smoking prevalence highest for women aged 20 to 24 years
Smoking prevalence highest for women aged 20 to 24 years

HealthDay News — Overall, 7.2% of women who gave birth in 2016 smoked cigarettes during pregnancy, with prevalence varying by age, maternal race and Hispanic origin, and educational attainment, according to a February data brief published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.

Patrick Drake, from the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Maryland, and colleagues examined the prevalence of cigarette smoking at any time during pregnancy among women who gave birth in 2016 in the United States using data from the National Vital Statistics System. 

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The researchers found that 7.2% of women who gave birth in 2016 smoked cigarettes during pregnancy. The prevalence of smoking was highest for women aged 20 to 24 years, followed by those aged 15 to 19 and 25 to 29 years (10.7, 8.5, and 8.2%, respectively). The highest prevalence of smoking during pregnancy was seen for non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native women (16.7%), while the lowest prevalence was seen for non-Hispanic Asian women (0.6%). Women with a completed high school education had the highest prevalence of smoking during pregnancy (12.2%), followed by those with less than a high school education (11.7%).

"Identifying maternal characteristics linked with smoking during pregnancy can help inform the development of strategies to reduce the prevalence of maternal smoking and increase smoking cessation during pregnancy," the authors write.

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