August 22, 2017
1 min read

Smoking during pregnancy increasing in women with major depression

You've successfully added to your alerts. You will receive an email when new content is published.

Click Here to Manage Email Alerts

We were unable to process your request. Please try again later. If you continue to have this issue please contact

Smoking during pregnancy significantly increased among women with major depressive episodes, while decreasing among those without, from 2005 to 2014.

“The strength of the relationship between depression and prenatal smoking has increased over time, suggesting that depression is an increasingly important — but rarely treated — barrier to quitting smoking,” Renee D. Goodwin, PhD, MPH, of City University of New York, said in a press release. “Smoking during pregnancy is disproportionately common among women with lower levels of education, lower income, and who are unmarried, relative to those with higher education and income. Notably, these are also groups who often have less access to prenatal care.”

To assess associations between major depressive episode and smoking in pregnant women and changes in prevalence from 2005 to 2014, researchers analyzed data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

Prenatal smoking was more common among women with major depressive episode (32.5% vs. 13%; adjusted OR = 2.5), compared with those without major depressive episode.

Researchers found greater disparities when considering income, education, and race.

From 2005 to 2014, smoking during pregnancy significantly increased among women with major depressive episode (35.9% to 38.4%; P = .02) and decreased among women without major depressive episode (12.5% to 9.1%; P = .07).

“Many women may not realize that depression is interfering with their ability to stop smoking and may need extra assistance quitting,” Goodwin said in the release. “Public health campaigns to educate people about the importance of quitting smoking during pregnancy is highly recommended. Treatment for depression in conjunction with smoking cessation efforts may also be the critical component to help women succeed in quitting.” – by Amanda Oldt

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.