Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada
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Objective: The objectives of this study were (1) to examine changes in smoking behaviour across time in pregnant women in Ontario (relative to non-pregnant women and men) and (2) to assess whether, among pregnant women, changes across time vary as a function of sociodemographic characteristics. Methods: This study used data from the Canadian Community Health Survey. The study sample included 15- to 49-year-old residents of Ontario. Multivariable logistic regression, with interactions between time period and the characteristic of interest, was used to examine whether changes varied across time according to (1) group (pregnant women, non-pregnant women, men; two-year intervals, 2001 to 2010) and (2) pregnant subgroup (maternal age, maternal marital status, maternal education; 1995 to 2000 [n = 3745], 2001 to 2005 [n = 5084], and 2006 to 2010 [n = 2900]). Results: A decrease in the prevalence of smoking across time was seen in all groups but was smaller in pregnant women than in non-pregnant women (23.5% vs. 30.8%). Among pregnant women, interactions between time period and maternal age, maternal marital status, and maternal education were statistically significant. The prevalence of smoking during pregnancy decreased in older, married, and more highly educated women, but increased in younger women (by 8.2%) and less educated women (by 12.8%). Although the prevalence of smoking during pregnancy decreased in unmarried women, the change was smaller than in married women. Conclusion: Although the prevalence of smoking in pregnant women is decreasing over time, the decrease is smaller than that in non-pregnant women. Pregnant subgroups particularly resistant to change include younger, unmarried, and less educated mothers. These findings suggest there are subgroups that should be targeted more deliberately by public health interventions.