Impact of Smoking Ban on Passive Smoke Exposure in Pregnant Non-Smokers in the Southeastern United States.
Prenatal passive smoke exposure raises risk for negative birth outcomes. Legislation regulating public smoking has been shown to impact exposure levels, though fewer studies involving pregnant women have been conducted within the U.S. where bans are inconsistent across regions. This study examined the effect of a ban enacted in the southeastern U.S. on pregnant women's cotinine levels. Additional analyses compared self-reported exposure to cotinine and identified characteristics associated with passive exposure. Pregnant women (N = 851) were recruited prospectively between 2005 and 2011 in North Carolina. Sociodemographic and health data were collected via surveys; maternal blood samples were assayed for cotinine. Among non-active smokers who provided self-report data regarding passive exposure (N = 503), 20% were inconsistent with corresponding cotinine. Among all non-smokers (N = 668), being unmarried, African American, and less educated were each associated with greater passive exposure. Controlling for covariates, mean cotinine was higher prior to the ban compared to after, F(1, 640) = 24.65, p < 0.001. Results suggest that banning smoking in public spaces may reduce passive smoke exposure for non-smoking pregnant women. These data are some of the first to examine the impact of legislation on passive smoke exposure in pregnant women within the U.S. using a biomarker and can inform policy in regions lacking comprehensive smoke-free legislation.
Schechter, JC; Fuemmeler, BF; Hoyo, C; Murphy, SK; Zhang, JJ; Kollins, SH
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