Medicine

One In 14 Pregnant Women Smokes, Report Shows

One In 14 Pregnant Women Smokes, Report Shows

The 7.2 percentage of women who smoked is lower than it was in 2011, when about 10 percent of women in the United States reported smoking during their last three months of pregnancy.

Older women - those ages 30 and older - and those with some college or an associates degree were less likely to smoke in pregnancy than younger and less educated women, the report found. 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 percent, respectively).

These levels differ extensively by state, maternal age, race and Hispanic origin, and education, but one should stay away from smoking as much as possible. Women with a completed high school education had the highest prevalence of smoking during pregnancy (12.2 percent), followed by those with less than a high school education (11.7 percent). The lowest incidence of smoking during pregnancy was recorded in California at 1.6 percent. The CDC emphasizes upon the risks of smoking to the unborn baby saying that it may cause premature births, low birth weight or growth retardation in the fetus, raise the risk of still births and also deaths of the baby due to Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Smoking rates varied by states and a number of demographic breakdowns.

The CDC reports it used data from the 2016 National Vital Statistics System, which is based on information using birth certificate and birth information on all US births. Utah, Texas, Hawaii, New Jersey, Nevada, Arizona, New York and CT, and the District of Columbia also had smoking rates under 5%.

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Smoking was highest among non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native women at 16.7 percent. The risks of smoking during pregnancy are well known and health experts all over the world have supported campaigns to stop smoking among pregnant women. As of now this report is enough to ring a warning bell and strengthen the efforts to curb smoking among pregnant women write the authors of the report.

The report also found some racial disparities, with nearly 17 percent of Native Americans and Alaska Natives choosing to continue smoking while pregnant.

Certain areas of the country saw higher smoking rates among pregnant women.

While outreach is important for addressing the issue of women smoking while pregnant, it's important to do so in a compassionate and understanding manner.


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