Pregnant Women in Ohio More Likely to Smoke than in Other States

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Despite the known birth defect risks, some pregnant woman in Ohio still smoke.

The National Center for Health Statistics released a report last week showing that 14.4 percent of women pregnant in the Buckeye State smoked tobacco, a rate higher than most other states.

The study, which represented births in 2016, found that nationally about 7 percent of women who gave birth smoked cigarettes during pregnancy, or 1 in 14. This is the first time a study on this scale has been conducted in the United States.

While Ohio's rates are seventh highest in the nation, our neighbor West Virginia actually leads the country with about 25 percent of women smoking. Kentucky is second with 18.4 percent. Age, education level and race play a role in determining a female's likelihood of smoking tobacco while pregnant, which can lead to premature birth, low birth weights and a slew of other health issues.

The study's authors (read the full report here) said the new information could inform strategies to reduce the prevalence of women smoking while pregnant.

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