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Health Indicator Report of Tobacco Use During Pregnancy

Use of tobacco products during pregnancy is associated with poor birth outcomes.


This is revised Healthy New Jersey 2020 (HNJ2020) Objective MCH-5. Data for White, Black, and Asian do not include Hispanics. Hispanic ethnicity includes persons of any race. New York City did not report race and ethnicity for births to New Jersey residents that occurred in NYC prior to 2010. Therefore, data by race/ethnicity for 2000-2009 is not directly comparable to data for 2010 and later.

Data Source

Birth Certificate Database, Office of Vital Statistics and Registry, New Jersey Department of Health

Data Interpretation Issues

Tobacco use during pregnancy is self-reported and, thus, assumed to be under-reported to some degree.


Self-reported use of any tobacco product by the mother during pregnancy


Number of live births whose mothers used any tobacco product


Total number of live births

Healthy People Objective: Increase abstinence from alcohol, cigarettes, and illicit drugs among pregnant women: Cigarette smoking

U.S. Target: 98.6 percent

Other Objectives

'''Revised Healthy New Jersey 2020 Objective MCH-5''': Decrease use of tobacco among pregnant women to 3.4% for the total population, 4.5% among Whites, 5.6% among Blacks, 1.8% among Hispanics, and 0.28% among Asians. '''Previous Healthy New Jersey 2020 Objective MCH-5''': Decrease use of tobacco among pregnant women to 4.2% for the total population, 5.4% among Whites, 6.9% among Blacks, 2.4% among Hispanics, and 0.5% among Asians. ''All targets have been met.'' '''Original Healthy New Jersey 2020 Objective MCH-5''': Increase abstinence from cigarette smoking among pregnant women to 94.8% for the total and White populations, 92.1% among Blacks, 96.8% among Hispanics, and 99.3% among Asians and Pacific Islanders.

How Are We Doing?

Tobacco use during pregnancy increases the likelihood of delivering preterm (< 37 weeks gestation), at low birth weight (< 2500 g), and at very low birth weight (< 1500 g). The average birth weight of infants whose mothers used tobacco during pregnancy is significantly lower at 3,066 grams compared to 3,266 grams for those who abstained. Tobacco use during pregnancy is much more prevalent in southernmost New Jersey than in the rest of the state. It is also much more likely among Black and White women than among Asian and Hispanic women.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

The smoking rate among New Jersey mothers is about half the nationwide rate.

What Is Being Done?

[ Mom's Quit Connection] (MQC) helps pregnant and postpartum women as well as their families by providing free, one-on-one counseling for those who want to quit smoking to protect their children from exposure to harmful tobacco smoke. MQC is a program of Family Health Initiatives funded by the NJ Department of Health.

Available Services

Mom's Quit Connection for Families: []

Health Program Information

Tobacco-Free for a Healthy New Jersey: [] NJDOH Office of Tobacco Control, Nutrition and Fitness: [] NJDOH Maternal and Child Health Services: []
Page Content Updated On 05/17/2019, Published on 05/17/2019
The information provided above is from the Department of Health's NJSHAD web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Mon, 26 October 2020 12:16:39 from Department of Health, New Jersey State Health Assessment Data Web site: ".

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