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Health Indicator Report of Smoking in the Third Trimester of Pregnancy

2016 Utah Vital Records data drawn from Certificates of Live Births indicate that 2.3% of women smoked during the last trimester of their pregnancies. According to the 2010 Surgeon General's Report, ''How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking-Attributable Diseases,'' cigarette smoking during pregnancy increases the risk for: low birth weight, neurologic deficits in offspring, increased maternal blood pressure and heart rate, preterm birth, premature rupture of membranes, placental abruption, placenta previa, miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal mortality, cleft lip/palate, fetal growth restriction/small for gestational age, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Additionally, women who smoke are less likely to initiate and continue breastfeeding their infants. Some unfavorable pregnancy outcomes may be reduced or eliminated through smoking cessation, especially if cessation occurs early in pregnancy. This is true for birth weight which decreases as the number of cigarettes smoked increases; however, smoking cessation by the third trimester of pregnancy can eliminate much of the fetal weight reduction risk incurred through maternal smoking. Maternal smoking may also lead to low birth weight (LBW) through complications requiring premature delivery such as preterm, premature rupture of membranes, placental abruption, or placenta previa. It has been estimated that the occurrence of LBW could be reduced by as much as 20% and fetal growth restriction by 30% if all women were nonsmokers during pregnancy.

Percentage of Utah Women Who Smoked in the Third Trimester of Pregnancy by Age, Utah, 2014-2016


Due to the relatively small number of women reporting smoking in the third trimester of pregnancy, three consecutive years of data are grouped together to provide sufficient data for analysis.

Data Source

Utah Birth Certificate Database, Office of Vital Records and Statistics, Utah Department of Health

Data Interpretation Issues

Cigarette data is obtained through self-report by women through either responses to survey questions within four months of a live birth (PRAMS data), or through Certificates of Live Births (Utah Vital Records data). Either of these processes may result in recall bias. The percent of women who report smoking in the third trimester of pregnancy is higher on the PRAMS surveys (4.0% in 2015 - the most recent data available) which are submitted anonymously, than rates from certificates of live births (2.7% in 2015) on which the mothers' names are included. Due to the stigma attached to smoking during pregnancy, women may be less than forthcoming regarding their use of tobacco resulting in under-reporting of actual cigarette usage.


Women who reported smoking during the third trimester of their pregnancies.


Number of women reported on Utah Certificates of Live Births as having smoked in the last trimester of their pregnancies.


Number of live births to Utah residents regardless of where they occurred.

Other Objectives

There is no Healthy People 2020 Objective for third trimester smoking. However, there is a more general 2020 Objective (MICH-11.3) to increase abstinence from cigarette smoking among pregnant women, with a target of 98.6%. There is another HP2020 Objective (TU-6) to increase smoking cessation during pregnancy, with a target of 30.0%.

How Are We Doing?

The percentage of Utah women smoking in the third trimester decreased from 2.7% in 2015 to 2.3% in 2016. From 2000 through 2016, the highest percentage of third trimester smoking occurred in 2001 with 7.7% of women experiencing a live birth reporting smoking in the third trimester of pregnancy.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

There are currently no published national data on smoking in the third trimester of pregnancy.

What Is Being Done?

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant smokers be assessed for smoking activity and readiness to quit and provided resources to assist in cessation at each prenatal visit. In Utah, all local health departments screen pregnant clients for smoking and provide resources and referrals to promote cessation. The Utah Department of Health Medicaid Program and Department of Workforce Services workers screen all pregnant applicants for tobacco use at the time of enrollment. Smokers are provided cessation information and followed-up every six weeks throughout their pregnancies. Medicaid clients tend to have higher smoking rates than average, so the Tobacco Prevention and Control Program (TPCP) partners with Medicaid to offer quitting services to their clients. The program offers services through the Utah Tobacco Quit Line, and includes coverage of tobacco cessation medications and additional help for pregnant women. To inform Utahns about tobacco cessation strategies and quit services, the Tobacco Prevention and Control Program (TPCP) at the Utah Department of Health maintains a comprehensive quit website - []. Utah's anti-tobacco marketing campaign encourages Utah smokers to make quit attempts and informs about [] and other quit programs. TPCP is also addressing the use of e-cigarrettes and hookah. Regarding the use of e-cigarettes among high school seniors and 19- to 24-year-olds, the TPCP states: *In 2017, 32% of high school seniors reported that they had tried e-cigarettes and 16% were current users.[[br]] [[br]] Local health departments (LHDs) promote quit services at the community level and offer local programs to assist pregnant and teen smokers with quitting. In addition, the TPCP partners with healthcare providers and healthcare organizations such as the Association for Utah Community Health (AUCH) and Medicaid to improve access to quit services, counseling, and medications for populations with higher tobacco use rates. Beginning in April of 2016, PRAMS began asking about the use of e-cigarettes and hookah, before and during pregnancy. These questions are in addition to questions regarding cigarette smoking. Additional information on smoking cessation, resources, and helpful website links can be found online at the March of Dimes website [] by clicking on ''Health Topics --> Pregnancy --> Is it safe? --> smoking during pregnancy.''

Available Services

Utah's comprehensive tobacco cessation website, [], offers help and tips for quitting tobacco, as well as information about the Utah Tobacco Quit Line and Utah's online quit coaching program. To receive more information about Tobacco Prevention and Control Programs in Utah, call the Tobacco Free Resource Line at 1-877-220-3466. For information on quitting smoking, call the Utah Tobacco Quit Line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit Utah's online tobacco cessation support program at: [].
Page Content Updated On 01/31/2018, Published on 02/02/2018
The information provided above is from the Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Tue, 16 October 2018 8:32:29 from Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Fri, 2 Feb 2018 09:53:58 MST