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

January 16, 2018

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 socioeconomic disparities 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 nicotine exposure within the previous 48 to 72 hours.

The blood tests indicated that most non-smoking pregnant women 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 secondhand smoke exposure can contribute to complications including miscarriage, low birth weight, 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.
-end-
In addition to Schechter, study authors include Susan K. Murphy, Junfeng (Jim) Zhang, and Scott H. Kollins of Duke, Bernard F. Fuemmeler of Virginia Commonwealth University, and Cathrine Hoyo of N.C. State University.

The research was supported by National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences of the National Institutes of Health (P01ES022831, R21ES014947, R01ES016772, K24DA023464, P30ES025128) and by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (RD-83543701). Additional support was provided by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (UL1TR001117).

Duke University Medical Center

Related Smoking Articles from Brightsurf:

Smoking rates falling in adults, but stroke survivors' smoking rates remain steady
While the rate of Americans who smoke tobacco has fallen steadily over the last two decades, the rate of stroke survivors who smoke has not changed significantly.

What is your risk from smoking? Your network knows!
A new study from researchers at Penn's Annenberg School for Communication found that most people, smokers and non-smokers alike, were nowhere near accurate in their answers to questions about smoking's health effects.

Want to quit smoking? Partner up
Kicking the habit works best in pairs. That's the main message of a study presented today at EuroPrevent 2019, a scientific congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

Smoking and mortality in Asia
In this analysis of data from 20 studies conducted in China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and India with more than 1 million participants, deaths associated with smoking continued to increase among men in Asia grouped by the years in which they were born.

Predictors of successfully quitting smoking among smokers registered at the quit smoking clinic at a public hospital in northeastern Malaysia
In the current issue of Family Medicine and Community Health, Nur Izzati Mohammad et al. consider how cigarette smoking is one of the risk factors leading to noncommunicable diseases such as cardiovascular and respiratory system diseases and cancer.

Restaurant and bar smoking bans do reduce smoking, especially among the highly educated
Smoking risk drops significantly in college graduates when they live near areas that have completely banned smoking in bars and restaurants, according to a new study in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

How the UK smoking ban increased wellbeing
Married women with children reported the largest increase in well-being following the smoking bans in the UK in 2006 and 2007 but there was no comparable increase for married men with children.

Smoking study personalizes treatment
A simple blood test is allowing Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) researchers to determine which patients should be prescribed varenicline (Chantix) to stop smoking and which patients could do just as well, and avoid side effects, by using a nicotine patch.

A biophysical smoking gun
While much about Alzheimer's disease remains a mystery, scientists do know that part of the disease's progression involves a normal protein called tau, aggregating to form ropelike inclusions within brain cells that eventually strangle the neurons.

A case where smoking helped
A mutation in the hemoglobin of a young woman in Germany was found to cause her mild anemia.

Read More: Smoking News and Smoking Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.