Author(s): LeClere FB, Wilson JB
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: This report presents a comprehensive review of data on the smoking behaviors of women with a recent birth from the 1990 National Health Interview Survey. Data on current and lifetime smoking status and smoking behaviors before and after learning of pregnancy are presented. Selected demographic characteristics of women--including age, race, education, and family income--are also presented. METHODS: Data presented in this report are from the 1990 National Health Interview Survey on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (NHIS-HPDP). Questions on pregnancy and smoking were administered as part of this supplement to women 18-44 years of age who either had a live birth in the 5 years preceding the interview, or who were pregnant at the time of the interview. These analyses were limited to women with a live birth in the 5 years preceding the 1990 NHIS who were not currently pregnant. RESULTS: Of 13,674,000 women with a recent live birth, about 39 percent had ever smoked, 25 percent smoked in the year before they became pregnant, and 15 percent smoked during their most recent pregnancy. Women who smoked prior to learning of their pregnancy were most likely to be moderate smokers, white women, never married, and of lower income. Women who smoked after learning of their pregnancy were most likely to be light smokers, representing a shift in smoking behaviors after learning of pregnancy. Nearly 23 percent of women reported that they stopped smoking altogether after learning of their pregnancy. CONCLUSIONS: These findings are consistent with data from other sources and provide support for recently observed trends in smoking and pregnancy. A majority of women who had ever smoked continued to smoke throughout pregnancy. Although many women altered their smoking behaviors, only about one quarter of women reported that they stopped smoking entirely. Public health service messages must continue to encourage women to stop smoking entirely during pregnancy to maximize the health benefits to their infants.
This article was published in Adv Data
and referenced in Journal of Pregnancy and Child Health