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Nicotine Tob Res. 2008 Jul;10(7):1121-9. doi: 10.1080/14622200802123278.

Sociodemographic, insurance, and risk profiles of maternal smokers post the 1990s: how can we reach them?

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  • 1Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.


Declines in prenatal smoking rates have changed the composition of maternal smokers while public policy during the 1990s has likely made it more difficult to reach them. Medicaid expansions during the 1980s/early 1990s insured more women some time during pregnancy, but the 1996 welfare reform unexpectedly reduced enrollment in Medicaid by eligible pregnant women; overall, insurance coverage has declined since 2000. As the public sector struggles with fewer resources, it is important to understand the sociodemographic characteristics of prenatal smokers, their patterns of care, and nonsmoking risk behaviors. Targeting scarce dollars to certain settings or sub-populations can strengthen the infrastructure for tobacco policy change. We provide more current information on maternal smokers in 2002 based on the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) for 21 states. Data on urban/rural location, insurance coverage, access patterns, and nonsmoking risk behaviors (e.g., abuse) among low-income (<16,000) and other maternal smokers are included. Low-income maternal smokers are the working poor living in predominately urban areas with fewer health care resources than low-income nonsmokers. Over 50% of low-income maternal smokers are uninsured pre-pregnancy and use a clinic as their usual source of care. Regardless of income, smokers exhibit rates of nonsmoking risks that are two to three times those of nonsmokers and high rates of unintended pregnancy (68%) of low-income smokers. These characteristics likely call for a bundle of social support services beyond cessation for smokers to quit and remain smoke-free postpartum.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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