Pregnant women in NC exposed to less secondhand nicotine after 'smoking ban'

January 16, 2018, Duke University Medical Center

A new study from Duke Health has found pregnant women experienced less secondhand smoke exposure since the 2009 passage of the 'smoking ban' in North Carolina, which outlawed smoking inside public places such as bars and restaurants. The research was published online in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

Although overall, exposure has been reduced, the study identified racial and among those who still are affected at home, at work and in their communities—specifically women who are African American, women with less education, and those who are unmarried.

The data comes from 668 women who enrolled in the study between 2005 and 2011. Their secondhand smoke exposure was measured by the presence of cotinine, a biomarker found in blood plasma that indicates within the previous 48 to 72 hours.

The blood tests indicated that most non-smoking were not exposed to nicotine in the days prior to being tested for the study. Although some women still had exposure after the passage of the ban, average levels of cotinine in their blood were lower than those before the ban.

The study focused on the Southeast, a part of the U.S. that has some of the highest rates for poor perinatal outcomes, said the study's lead author Julia Schechter, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and assistant professor at Duke Health. Smoking and can contribute to complications including miscarriage, , early birth and learning and behavioral deficiencies in children.

"North Carolina still doesn't have a fully comprehensive smoking ban," Schechter said. "The findings are encouraging, but we still aren't completely smoke free." Considering many communities in the region have roots in tobacco farming and production, continued policy change may be particularly challenging, she said.

Schechter and colleagues are also conducting research on potential links between smoke exposure during pregnancy and ADHD.

Explore further: Children's exposure to secondhand smoke may be vastly underestimated by parents

Related Stories

Children's exposure to secondhand smoke may be vastly underestimated by parents

November 15, 2017
Four out of 10 children in the US are exposed to secondhand smoke, according to the American Heart Association. A new Tel Aviv University study suggests that parents who smoke mistakenly rely on their own physical senses ...

New study on smoking bans finds decreasein smoke exposure in public and private places

February 26, 2017
Exposure to secondhand smoke has long been associated with negative health effects. A study of secondhand smoke exposure after two smoking bans in Spain, publishing today in Nicotine & Tobacco Research, suggests that overall ...

Secondhand smoke exposure among nonsmoking adult cancer survivors has declined

June 22, 2017
From 1999/2000 to 2011/2012, exposure to secondhand smoke among nonsmoking adult cancer survivors declined from 39.6 percent to 15.7 percent, but rates of exposure were higher among those with a history of a smoking-related ...

Nicotine exposure during pregnancy nearly twice as high as reported

July 7, 2016
More women may be smoking and exposed to nicotine during pregnancy than previously thought, according to a new study by researchers from Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center in collaboration with Cradle Cincinnati.

Open windows, lower risk for preterm birth: study

February 14, 2013
(HealthDay) —Opening the windows at home may help pregnant women reduce their risk for preterm birth or low birth weight, a new study indicates.

Kids' hands may be a source of significant nicotine exposure

April 6, 2017
Children may carry significant levels of nicotine on their hands just by coming into contact with items or surfaces contaminated with tobacco smoke residues, even when no one is actively smoking around them at the time.

Recommended for you

Like shark attack and the lottery, unconscious bias influences cancer screening

August 17, 2018
What do shark attack, the lottery and ovarian cancer screening having in common? It turns out our judgments about these things are all influenced by unconscious bias.

Moderate carbohydrate intake may be best for health

August 17, 2018
Eating carbohydrates in moderation seems to be optimal for health and longevity, suggests new research published in The Lancet Public Health journal.

Phantom odors: One American in 15 smells odors that aren't there, study finds

August 16, 2018
Imagine the foul smell of an ash tray or burning hair. Now imagine if these kinds of smells were present in your life, but without a source. A new study finds that 1 in 15 Americans (or 6.5 percent) over the age of 40 experiences ...

US drug overdose deaths surge amid fentanyl scourge

August 16, 2018
US drug overdose deaths surged to nearly 72,000 last year, as addicts increasingly turn to extremely powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl as the supply of prescription painkillers has tightened.

Parental life span predicts daughters living to 90 without chronic disease or disability

August 15, 2018
Researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine report that women whose mothers lived to at least age 90 were more likely to also live to 90, free of serious diseases and disabilities.

Widespread declines in life expectancy across high income countries coincide with rising young adult, midlife mortality

August 15, 2018
The ongoing opioid epidemic in the United States is a key contributor to the most recent declines in life expectancy, suggests a study published by The BMJ today.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.