CDC Report Shows Decline in Cigarette Smoking During Pregnancy


A new report from the CDC demonstrated a decrease in cigarette smoking across all race and ethnic groups from 2016 to 2022, illustrating a promising trend with potential public health benefits.

Less women smoked cigarettes during pregnancy in 2022 than in 2016, according to a recent report by the CDC.1

The CDC recently released a report comparing rates of smoking cigarettes during pregnancy based on race and ethnicity for mothers in 2016 and 2022. A decrease in cigarette smoking was observed in all pregnant women between the 2 time periods, from 7.2% in 2016 to 3.7% in 2022.

Declines in smoking rates were observed across all race and ethnic groups. From 2016 to 2022, rates decreased from 16.7% to 11.0% among non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native women, from 10.5% to 5.4% among non-Hispanic White women, and from 6% to 3.1% among non-Hispanic Black women.

A decline from 4.5% to 2.1% was observed among non-Hispanic Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander women, from 1.8% to 1% among Hispanic women, and from 0.6% to 0.3% among non-Hispanic Asian women.

Smoking during pregnancy is associated with maternal and fetal adverse outcomes.2 This includes a higher risk of being unable to become pregnant in the future, as well as potential tissue damage for the unborn baby, especially in the lungs and brain. Tobacco exposure has also been associated with an increased risk of miscarriage.

Other adverse infant outcomes have been reported from maternal smoking during pregnancy. Infants born of mothers who smoked during pregnancy are more likely to be born preterm, which increases risks of disease, disability, and death. Additionally, low birth weight has been reported in 1 in 5 babies of mothers exposed to secondhand smoke during pregnancy.

The risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is also increased in babies of mothers who smoked or were exposed to secondhand smoke during pregnancy. The risk of SIDS is increased 3-fold in babies of mothers who smoked during pregnancy.

This article originally appeared in Contemporary OB/GYN.

  1. QuickStats: Percentage of women who smoked cigarettes during pregnancy, by race and hispanic origin—National Vital Statistics System, United States, 2016 and 2022. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2023;72:1355. doi:10.15585/mmwr.mm7250a5
  2. Smoking during pregnancy. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed December 15, 2023.,maternal%20smoking%20and%20cleft%20lip.&text=Studies%20also%20suggest%20a%20relationship%20between%20tobacco%20and%20miscarriage.
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