Jim Greenberg, MD, Co-Director, Perinatal Institute.

Jim Greenberg, MD, Co-Director, Perinatal Institute


A study led by Cincinnati Children’s and Cradle Cincinnati shows a significant gap between the number of women who report smoking during pregnancy and those who test positive for nicotine exposure. 

The study, published online July 7, 2016, in the Journal of Perinatology, detected high-level nicotine exposure in 16.5 percent of women tested. The team found low-level exposure for another 7.5 percent. However, only 8.6 percent admitted to using cigarettes. 

The study shows that self-reporting methods for estimating nicotine use do not capture all means of exposure, including e-cigarettes.

“We have long suspected that smoking during pregnancy is under-reported, but now we know just how many women struggle to quit when they are pregnant,” says senior author Jim Greenberg, MD, Co-Director of the Perinatal Institute.  

These findings underscore the need for greater public health efforts to decrease smoking among pregnant women, Greenberg says.