Maternal tobacco use during pregnancy has been linked to a variety of negative infant and child outcomes, including low birthweight, preterm birth and various birth defects, according to the CDC.
That’s why when the agency’s National Center for Health Statistics released a data brief(www.cdc.gov) on Feb. 28, it was disheartening to see that one in 14 women who gave birth in the United States in 2016 reported that they had smoked cigarettes during pregnancy.
The 2016 natality data file compiled by the CDC’s National Vital Statistics System is the first to offer statistics on maternal cigarette smoking during pregnancy for all states and the District of Columbia. Those data are drawn from U.S. Standard Certificate of Live Birth forms, which in 2003 were revised to require inclusion of information on maternal cigarette smoking before and during pregnancy.
In addition to breaking down this information by state of residence, the CDC’s report categorizes the prevalence of maternal cigarette smoking during pregnancy by maternal race and Hispanic origin, age and educational attainment.
By state, the prevalence of cigarette smoking during pregnancy was highest in West Virginia (25.1 percent), followed by Kentucky (18.4 percent), Montana (16.5 percent), Vermont (15.5 percent) and Missouri (15.3 percent).
The prevalence of smoking during pregnancy was lowest in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, Texas, Utah and Washington, D.C.; each had a prevalence of less than 5 percent.