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APHA: Ban Tied to Lower Smoking Rate in Pregnancy

Last Updated: November 12, 2010.

The implementation of a smoking ban in a U.S. city appears to have reduced the prevalence of maternal smoking and improved fetal outcomes, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association, held from Nov. 6 to 10 in Denver.

FRIDAY, Nov. 12 (HealthDay News) -- The implementation of a smoking ban in a U.S. city appears to have reduced the prevalence of maternal smoking and improved fetal outcomes, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association, held from Nov. 6 to 10 in Denver.

Robert Page, of the University of Colorado Denver in Aurora, and colleagues assessed the prevalence of smoking and risk of preterm births and low birth weight (LBW) in 6,714 women and their singleton offspring in Pueblo, Colo., before and after implementation of a citywide smoking ban. They compared the data with those from another geographically isolated community, El Paso County, Colo., which had no such ordinance.

Compared with El Paso, the researchers found that Pueblo experienced a decline in maternal smoking and a fall in preterm births after the ban was put into place. The risk of LBW also declined, with the amount of decline depending on the definition for LBW.

"Our study results are the first to suggest an association between the institution of a smoking ban and a reduction in preterm but not LBW births. These data suggest the benefits of such smoking ordinances on fetal and maternal health," the authors write.

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