In a new report, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has revealed that one in 14 women who gave birth in the United States in 2016 smoked during pregnancy.

7.2 Percent Of Women Smoked During Pregnancy

The report, which was based on national birth certificate data from the National Vital Statistics System, showed that 7.2 percent of women who gave birth in 2016 smoked while pregnant.

Patrick Drake, from CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, and colleagues reported that smoking was highest in women between 20 and 24 years old. More educated women were also less likely to smoke during pregnancy.

Smoking rates also varied from state to state. West Virginia had the highest incidence with more than 25 percent of women reported that they smoked when they were pregnant. Montana, Vermont, Kentucky, and Missouri also had rates of more than 15 percent.

California had the lowest rate, with less than 2 percent of women smoking during pregnancy.

Other states with the lowest prevalence of women smoking during pregnancy were New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Hawaii, Nevada, Texas, Arizona, California, Utah, and DC.

West Virginia has one of the highest rates of smokers in the country, and California has some of the lowest rates.

"Identifying maternal characteristics linked with smoking during pregnancy can help inform the development of strategies to reduce the prevalence of maternal smoking and increase smoking cessation during pregnancy in the United States," Drake and colleagues reported

The smoking rates are less than those in a 2011 report, which showed that 10 percent of American women from 24 states smoked during the last three months of their pregnancy. Nonetheless, there is still concern over the unwanted effects of smoking during pregnancy.

Dangers Of Smoking During Pregnancy

Pregnant women who smoke have increased risk for miscarriage. The habit can also cause problems with the placenta, which serves as the sources of food and oxygen of the developing baby in the womb. If the placenta separates from the womb too early, bleeding may occur, which could pose danger for both mother and child.

Babies who were born to women who smoke also have higher risk for some birth defects such as cleft palate and cleft lip.

"Since smoking exposes both the woman and the fetus to serious health risks, more intense smoking cessation counseling is recommended for this population of smokers," said Patricia Folan, from the Center for Tobacco Control at Northwell Health in New York.

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