About 20% of White Women Smoke While Pregnant

Smoking In Pregnancy

White women who are pregnant are more likely to smoke cigarettes than African-American or Hispanic mothers-to-be, a new government report shows.

Smoking In Pregnancy

Pregnant woman holding a burning cigarette

The study found that pregnant white women had high rates of cigarette smoking at 21.8% compared with 14.2% among African-American women and 6.5% among Hispanic women.

The report, which was done by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, did not include how much or how often the women smoked.

Research has shown that babies born to moms who smoke in pregnancy are more likely to be born prematurely, have birth defects, and/or have a low birth weight. Nicotine and other chemicals can get passed along to the growing fetus and cause harm. Smoking also raises a woman’s odds for miscarriage or stillbirth.

The report looked at data gathered from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health between 2002 and 2010. In this yearly survey, researchers interviewed more than 67,000 people across the United States.

To find out how much substance abuse occurred during pregnancy over an eight-year period, researchers asked the pregnant women, aged 15 to 44, if they had smoked cigarettes, drank alcohol, or used an illegal drug during the past 30 days.

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