Health Status > Maternal Health

Smoking During Pregnancy

Cigarette smoking during pregnancy is the number one preventable risk factor for low birth weight. Maternal smoking is associated with preterm labor and delivery, neonatal and fetal death, birth defects and other pregnancy complications.1

The use of tobacco during pregnancy has been declining since 1989. Based on preliminary data, 10.2 percent of mothers smoked during pregnancy in 2004; this represents a slight decline from the previous year (10.4 percent). Smoking during pregnancy is most common among American Indian/Alaska Native women (18.2 percent) and least common among Asian/Pacific Islander women (2.2 percent). Hispanic women were the only group to show a decrease since 2003, from 2.7 percent to 2.6 percent.

1 Yu SM, Park CH, Schwalberg RH. Factors associated with smoking cessation among US pregnant women. Maternal and Child Health Journal 2002;6(2):89-97.

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Women's Health USA 2006 is not copyrighted. Readers are free to duplicate and use all or part of the information contained on this page. Suggested Citation: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Women's Health USA 2006. Rockville, Maryland: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2006.