Smoking while pregnant is linked to a host of birth defects, but one in 14 women are still doing it, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released Wednesday.
More than 7% of women who gave birth reported smoking while pregnant in 2016, according to the report by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics. Women ages 20 to 24 were most likely to smoke while pregnant, the CDC found. Women who had a bachelor’s degree or higher were less likely to smoke while pregnant — 1% or less.
Highest rates were reported from residents of West Virginia (25.1%), Kentucky (18.4%), Montana (16.6%), Vermont (15.5%) and Missouri (15.3%).
States with the lowest number (less than 5%) of pregnant women smoking were Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, Texas, Utah, and D.C., the report states.
Smoking during pregnancy can cause brain and lung tissue damage in the unborn baby, and also increases risk of miscarriage, according to studies citied by the CDC.