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Important Facts for Smoking in the Third Trimester of Pregnancy


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.

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 percentage of women who report smoking in the third trimester of pregnancy is higher on the PRAMS surveys (3.5% in 2020) which are submitted anonymously, than rates from certificates of live births (1.7% in 2020) 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.

Why Is This Important?

2020 Utah Vital Records data drawn from Certificates of Live Births indicate that 1.7% of women smoked during the last trimester of their pregnancies. Smoking before pregnancy can make it harder for women to get pregnant. During pregnancy, women who smoke cigarettes have a higher risk of delivering their infant too early and with a low birth weight, making it more likely their infant will be sick and have to stay in the hospital longer. These infants also have a higher risk of having some kinds of birth defects such as cleft lip and palate. Infants whose mothers smoked during pregnancy or were exposed to secondhand smoke after delivery have a higher risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). There is no safe level of tobacco use or exposure for women and their infants. (50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General: []

Other Objectives

There is no Healthy People 2030 Objective for third-trimester smoking. However, there is a more general 2030 Objective (MICH-10) to increase abstinence from cigarette smoking among pregnant women, with a target of 95.7%. Additionally, HP2030 Objective (TU-15) seeks to increase smoking cessation during pregnancy, with a target of 24.4%.

How Are We Doing?

According to Utah Vital Records data, the percentage of people who smoked during the third trimester decreased from 2.0% in 2019 to 1.7% in 2020. Smoking during the third trimester was recorded at higher percentages among residents of rural local health districts such as Southeast (11.3%), Tricounty (6.7%), Central (4.2%), and Tooele (4.1%) compared to all Utah residents who gave birth in 2020.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

Current national data for smoking during the third trimester are not available.

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 with 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 TPCP at the Utah Department of Health maintains a comprehensive quit website - []. The Utah anti-tobacco marketing campaign encourages Utah smokers to make quit attempts and informs them about [] and other quit programs. 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, The Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (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. PRAMS data from 2020 show 20.7% of the people who smoked e-cigarettes in the past two years, said they smoked e-cigarettes in the third trimester of their pregnancies. 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.''[[br]] [[br]]
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, 07 December 2021 11:58:03 from Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Thu, 4 Nov 2021 16:14:33 MDT