Study: Mothers smoking during pregnancy on rise in state

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – The rate of expectant mothers in Michigan who reported smoking while pregnant increased by 18 percent between 2008 and 2014, according to a new report released today.

Preterm births (less than 37 weeks gestation) also increased 20 percent statewide during that same time period.

That information is revealed in the Michigan League for Public Policy’s Right Start: 2016 annual report on maternal and child health.

In 2008, 21,966 Michigan mothers, or 18 percent of all births, reported smoking during pregnancy.

That number increased to 24,273 and 21 percent of births statewide in 2014.

“To ensure that Michigan kids count, we have to help them and their mothers get the right start, and this report shows that more needs to be done to promote and support healthy pregnancies” said Alicia Guevara Warren, Kids Count in Michigan Project Director at the Michigan League for Public Policy.

While the rate of births to white mothers smoking during pregnancy remains the highest of the state’s three largest racial/ethnic groups (23.5 percent), the rate of births to Hispanic mothers smoking while pregnant increased the most—rising by over 46 percent between 2008 and 2014.

The rate increased by 16 percent for African-American mothers and 17.5 percent for white mothers.

The 2016 Right Start report outlines several recommendations for policies and practices that lawmakers and health workers can pursue to help improve maternal and child health for Michigan residents, including:

  • Boost efforts to reduce and prevent smoking, especially during pregnancy and among youth.
  • Ensure strong implementation of e-cigarette and hookah regulations to reduce smoking amongst youth.
  • Increase cultural competency training with all health workers and grow a diversified workforce.

 
In Ingham County the number of women who smoked during pregnancy increased 166 percent. More information on mothers and child health in Ingham County is available here.

In Jackson County the number of births to mothers under 20 years old dropped 28 percent in the time period studied. Cigarette use during pregnancy was also up 64 percent in Jackson County.

We will have more on today’s study online and on 6 News.

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