About one in 14 women who gave birth in the United States in 2016, admitted they smoked while they were pregnant, according to a new CDC report released Wednesday.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) based their findings on data from its National Vital Statistics System. According to the CDC, approximately 7.2 percent of all expectant mothers smoked, however, the percentage of pregnant smokers varied from state to state.
The highest rates of smoking whilst pregnant were reported in West Virginia, where 25.1 percent of women reported smoking at any time during pregnancy. California was the state with the lowest rates, where 1.6 percent of women reported smoking.
West Virginia was followed by Kentucky and Montana, which were 18 percent and 16.5 percent of expecting mothers smoked respectively.
“Despite the well-understood risk to mother and child, still, about one of every 14 women in the United State smoked during pregnancy,” said Patrick Drake, senior author of the report and a demographer at the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, younger mothers, as well as those less educated, tended to smoke more. This prompted the organization to suggest smoking cessation counseling for these specific populations in addition to anti-smoking ad campaigns targeted towards high-risk groups.
The 2016 report also found that Native Americans and Alaska native had a higher chance of smoking during pregnancy, with 16.7 percent of pregnant women in the two groups still smoking.
Smoking during pregnancy can lead to premature birth and triples the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. More so, CDC said that children whose mothers smoked while pregnant are also likelier to develop asthma and have heart defects after birth.
The smoking rate was 10.7 percent among women 20 to 24, followed by women 15 to 19 at 8.5 percent and 25 to 29 at 8.2 percent.
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