WEDNESDAY, May 1, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of current cigarette smoking is lower among pregnant women, while prevalence of current electronic cigarette smoking is equivalent for pregnant and nonpregnant women of reproductive age, according to a research letter published online April 29 in JAMA Pediatrics.
Buyun Liu, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, and colleagues used data from the National Health Interview Survey to estimate the prevalence of e-cigarette and conventional cigarette use among women aged 18 to 44 years. Data were included for 27,920 women (1,071 pregnant women and 26,849 nonpregnant women).
The researchers found that weighted prevalence of current conventional cigarette use was 8 and 14.3 percent among pregnant and nonpregnant women, respectively (P = 0.01 for difference). Weighted prevalence of current e-cigarette use was 3.6 and 3.3 percent among pregnant and nonpregnant women, respectively (P = 0.92 for difference). The prevalence of current e-cigarette use differed by conventional smoking status: The weighted prevalence of current e-cigarette use was 38.9, 1.3, and 0.3 percent, respectively, among current conventional cigarette smokers, former smokers, and never smokers among pregnant women; among nonpregnant women, the weighted prevalence was 13.5, 8.8, and 0.7 percent for current conventional cigarette smokers, former smokers, and never smokers.
"The prevalence of current e-cigarette use was high among pregnant women who currently used conventional cigarettes," the authors write. "It is possible that some pregnant women perceived e-cigarettes as a safe alternative to conventional cigarettes."