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Health Policy. 2005 Jul;73(1):1-9. Epub 2004 Dec 8.

The prevalence of smoking among pregnant and postpartum women in Israel: a national survey and review.

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  • 1Department of Mother, Child and Adolescent Health, Ministry of Health, 20 King David Street, Jerusalem 91010, Israel.



Cigarette smoking during pregnancy is a significant health risk to the developing fetus. In order to develop and implement an appropriate preconceptional and prenatal smoking cessation program a national pregnancy risk survey was done.


The survey was conducted through the Public Health Service's, Mother and Child Health Clinics (MCHC). The nursing staff initiated structured interviews with pregnant women and mothers of newborn infants. Questions included in the survey addressed folic acid utilization, smoking habits, onset of prenatal care and demographic characteristics.


Overall, of the 1613 questionnaires received with smoking data, 12.8% of the women had smoked either in the 3 months preceding their current pregnancy and/or during their pregnancy. The smoking prevalence in Jewish women, was significantly greater then that found among Arab women (17.2 and 3.0%, P<.001, OR=7.5, CI=4.2-13.4). The prevalence of smoking for the duration of the pregnancy was 8.0% among Jewish women and 1.8% among Arab women. Among Jewish women, smoking prevalence was significantly associated with education, women who had completed 12 years of education were more likely to be nonsmokers (P=.034, OR=1.8, CI=1.0-3).


Smoking in the preconceptional and prenatal period is a significant problem among Jewish women. Since less years of education is a significant risk factor, smoking cessation programs should focus on this subgroup of Jewish women.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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