Ashton Marra Published

Smoking Rates Decline in Pregnant W.Va. Women

Holding Hands, Hold Hands, Baby, Baby Hand, Hand Holding

New data from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources shows fewer women in the state are smoking while pregnant now compared to a few years ago. 

DHHR’s Bureau for Public Health says the rate of West Virginia women who smoke while pregnant fell by four percent between 2014 and 2016. 

BPH calls the rate a key public health indicator because smoking contributes to premature birth, certain birth defects and infant death.

The decline is similar to the decreasing rate of teens in the state who smoke. Between 2000 and 2015, that rate dropped from nearly 39 to 16 percent.

West Virginia’s Chief Public Health Officer Rahul Gupta attributes the decline of smoking rates among both groups to comprehensive efforts, including education programs.

Appalachia Helth News

Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from the Benedum Foundation.