Background: Exposure to smoking during pregnancy is an important risk factor for child health. In the last few decades, the prevalence of smoking among fertile women has increased in Spain. Objectives: To assess fetal exposure to smoking in a representative sample of pregnant women and its trends. Methods: The prevalence of smoking and smoking cessation were analyzed in a representative sample of women who gave birth in the city of Barcelona, extracted from a population-based registry of birth defects. The sample consisted of 1,801 women and covered the period 1994 to 2001. Results: Among pregnant women, 43.4% smoked before pregnancy, and 42.2% of these quit. At the time of giving birth, 25.2% of the women were smokers. Over the period studied the prevalence of smoking among pregnant women clearly decreased. Although the proportion of cessations showed no significant changes, fetal exposure to tobacco decreased. Conclusions: The prevalence of smoking among pregnant women was high, although many quit during pregnancy. Over the period studied, fetal exposure to smoking decreased. There is a need for more systematic interventions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health