Prevalence and Correlates of Tobacco Smoking During the Perinatal Period Among Women Enrolled in a Midwestern WIC Program



Perinatal tobacco smoking remains a public health concern and is associated with smoking related morbidity and mortality. This study aims to report the prevalence and correlates of smoking during pregnancy among low-income women.


The study sample comprised 729 pregnant women who were enrolled in a perinatal depression registry in a public health WIC program between 2013 and 2015. Smoking risks were obtained from the clinical USDA Risk Assessment. STATA 14.2 was used for analyses.


15.1% of women reported smoking during pregnancy. Compared to White women, Black women were less likely to smoke odds ratio (OR 0.45 [95% CI 0.25–0.81]). Foreign-born women and women living in non-smoking homes remained at a lower risk for smoking during pregnancy.


Smoking during pregnancy is prevalent among low-income women. In addition to prenatal education on smoking cessation, supportive measures to help deliver smoking cessation interventions should be provided to household members.

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We would like to acknowledge the help from the University of Illinois Campus Research Board (K.T), Christopher Family Food Foundation (K.T), the Monkman Faculty Research Award (K.T) and the National Institute of Minority Health Disparities award number L60 MD008481 (K.T.). We also acknowledge support from the Fulbright Scientific Mobility Scholars Program (H.H.).

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Correspondence to Karen M. Tabb.

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Tabb, K.M., Malinga, T., Wang, Y. et al. Prevalence and Correlates of Tobacco Smoking During the Perinatal Period Among Women Enrolled in a Midwestern WIC Program. Community Ment Health J 56, 771–775 (2020).

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  • Maternal smoking
  • Pregnancy
  • WIC
  • Perinatal
  • Low-income