Smoking during pregnancy in the United States, 2005–2014: The role of depression

Renee D. Goodwin, Keely Cheslack-Postava, Deborah B. Nelson, Philip H. Smith, Melanie M. Wall, Deborah S. Hasin, Yoko Nomura, Sandro Galea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Background Despite success of public health-oriented tobacco control programs in lowering the smoking prevalence over the past several decades, it is unclear whether similar reductions in smoking have been experienced among pregnant women, especially in vulnerable groups such as those with major depression and/or lower socioeconomic status. Objectives The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between major depressive episode (MDE) and smoking among pregnant women overall, and by demographics and to estimate changes in the prevalence of cigarette smoking among pregnant women with and without MDE from 2005 to 2014. Study design Cigarette use among pregnant women with and without MDE was examined using logistic regression models in the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Results Prenatal smoking is more common among pregnant women with, compared to without, MDE (32.5% vs. 13.0%; (adjusted OR = 2.50 (1.85, 3.40)), and greater disparities were revealed when also considering income, education and race. Over time, smoking during pregnancy increased significantly among women with MDE (35.9% to 38.4%; p = 0.02)) and showed a decreasing trend among women without MDE (12.5% to 9.1%; p = 0.07) from 2005 to 2014. Conclusions Over the past decade, smoking during pregnancy has increased among women experiencing a major depressive episode and is over four times more common among pregnant women with, than without, MDE. Disparities in smoking during pregnancy by MDE status and socioeconomic subgroups appear substantial. Given the multitude of risks associated with both MDE and smoking during the prenatal period, more work targeting this vulnerable and high-risk group is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-166
Number of pages8
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2017


  • Depression
  • Disparities
  • Epidemiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal tobacco use


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