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Public Health Rep. 2009 Nov-Dec;124(6):841-9.

Decline in smoking during pregnancy in New York City, 1995-2005.

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  • 1Department of Community and Preventive Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029-6574, USA.



The 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) between 46 states and four major tobacco companies increased tobacco control funding and restricted tobacco marketing. In 2002, New York City (NYC) began a comprehensive tobacco control program that raised the price of cigarettes, banned indoor workplace smoking, and increased access to cessation treatment. We examined the temporal pattern of smoking during pregnancy, including ethnic variation in smoking prevalence, relative to the implementation of the MSA and NYC's comprehensive tobacco control program using birth certificate data.


Using multiple logistic regression, we analyzed NYC birth certificate data to examine prenatal smoking during three time periods: 1995-1998 (pre-MSA), 1999-2002 (post-MSA, pre-NYC tobacco control), and 2003-2005 (post-MSA, post-tobacco control).


Overall, 3.0% of 1,136,437 births included were to smoking mothers. The proportion of smoking mothers declined from 4.5% in 1995-1998 to 1.7% in 2003-2005. Compared with non-Hispanic white women, African American women had 2.46 increased odds (95% confidence interval [CI] 2.36, 2.55) of smoking during 1995-1998, and 3.63 increased odds (95% CI 3.39, 3.88) of smoking during 2003-2005, despite an absolute reduction in smoking from 10.4% to 5.0%. Puerto Rican women also smoked considerably more than non-Hispanic white women.


These findings document a striking temporal decline in prenatal smoking in NYC concurrent with changing tobacco control policies. Targeted efforts may be required to address the increasing disparity in prenatal smoking between non-Hispanic white and African American and Puerto Rican women.

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