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Smoking before, during, and after pregnancy


  • Fingerhut, L.A.
  • Kleinman, J.C.
  • Kendrick, J.S.


We report the first national data on smoking before, during, and after pregnancy. Estimates are based on the 1986 Linked Telephone Survey that reinterviewed 1,550 White women 20-44 years of age who were respondents to the 1985 National Health Interview Survey. An estimated 39 percent of White women who had smoked before pregnancy quit smoking while pregnant (27 percent when they found out they were pregnant and 12 percent later during pregnancy). Women with less than 12 years of education were five times as likely to smoke and one-fourth as likely to quit as those with 16 or more years of education. Women who smoked more than one pack of cigarettes per day before pregnancy were one-fifth as likely to quit as those smoking less. Of the women who quit, 70 percent resumed smoking within one year of delivery. Of those who relapsed, 67 percent resumed smoking within three months of delivery and 93 percent within six months. There is little evidence of educational differentials in relapse rates. The fact that relapse remains high suggests that while health of the fetus is a strong influence on women's smoking habits, women may be less aware of the effect of passive smoke on the infant.

Suggested Citation

  • Fingerhut, L.A. & Kleinman, J.C. & Kendrick, J.S., 1990. "Smoking before, during, and after pregnancy," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 80(5), pages 541-544.
  • Handle: RePEc:aph:ajpbhl:1990:80:5:541-544_0

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    Cited by:

    1. Görlitz, Katja & Tamm, Marcus, 2020. "Parenthood and smoking," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 38(C).
    2. Zasimova, Liudmila & Kossova, Elena & Ryazanova, Marina, 2014. "Understanding individual attitudes towards ban on smoking in public places," Applied Econometrics, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), vol. 34(2), pages 95-119.
    3. Uwe Helmert & Peter Lang & Boukje Cuelenaere, 1998. "Rauchverhalten von Schwangeren und Müttern mit Kleinkindern," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 43(2), pages 51-58, March.
    4. Lehmann, Jee-Yeon K. & Nuevo-Chiquero, Ana & Vidal-Fernández, Marian, 2012. "Explaining the Birth Order Effect: The Role of Prenatal and Early Childhood Investments," IZA Discussion Papers 6755, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Bottorff, Joan L. & Oliffe, John & Kalaw, Cecilia & Carey, Joanne & Mroz, Lawrence, 2006. "Men's constructions of smoking in the context of women's tobacco reduction during pregnancy and postpartum," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(12), pages 3096-3108, June.
    6. Douglas Almond & Kenneth Y. Chay & David S. Lee, 2005. "The Costs of Low Birth Weight," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 1031-1083.
    7. Evans, William N. & Lien, Diana S., 2005. "The benefits of prenatal care: evidence from the PAT bus strike," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 207-239.
    8. Colman, Greg & Grossman, Michael & Joyce, Ted, 2003. "The effect of cigarette excise taxes on smoking before, during and after pregnancy," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 1053-1072, November.
    9. Levy, Douglas E. & Meara, Ellen, 2006. "The effect of the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement on prenatal smoking," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 276-294, March.
    10. Mocan, Naci & Raschke, Christian & Unel, Bulent, 2015. "The impact of mothers’ earnings on health inputs and infant health," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 19(C), pages 204-223.
    11. Cristina Yunzal-Butler & Theodore J. Joyce & Andrew D. Racine, 2009. "Maternal Smoking and the Timing of WIC Enrollment," NBER Working Papers 14728, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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