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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 and still does not report tobacco use during pregnancy. 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
State Target: N/A. HNJ objective was revised from abstinence to use.

Other Objectives

'''Revised 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. '''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 3,113 grams compared to 3,274 grams for those who abstained.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

Because of changes to the way tobacco use information is collected on birth certificates in some states, national data are no longer comparable to New Jersey data. Historically, the smoking rate among New Jersey mothers is about half the nationwide rate.

What Is Being Done?

The New Jersey Department of Health has been committed to addressing perinatal addiction since 1980 and provides support to a system of perinatal addiction services. These risk reduction services include referral for treatment and education. For additional information about these services or for more information on the effects of substance use during pregnancy, please contact Reproductive and Perinatal Health Services at (609) 292-5616.

Available Services

Mom's Quit Connection: []

Health Program Information

NJDOH Office of Tobacco Control, Nutrition and Fitness: [] NJDOH Maternal and Child Health Services: []
Page Content Updated On 11/06/2017, Published on 11/06/2017
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, 19 March 2018 20:06:05 from Department of Health, New Jersey State Health Assessment Data Web site: ".

Content updated: Wed, 28 Feb 2018 05:01:06 EST