Research shows that smoking during pregnancy is related to mental health diagnoses. The purpose of this study was to assess whether current general mental health status is connected to current smoking status in pregnant women after controlling for other factors related to both mental health and tobacco use during pregnancy.
This cross-sectional analysis used 2017 BRFSS data for 621 pregnant women aged 18-38 from Florida (N=136), Kansas (N=116), Minnesota (N=105), Nebraska (N=90), New York (N=78), and Utah (N=96).
Overall, very few participants reported current smoking, and about one-third reported low or moderate mental health status in the past 30 days. Adjusted results indicated that those who said high mental health status were nearly three times less likely to report current smoking status than those who reported low mental health status.
Overall, current mental health status was positively related to current smoking status in pregnant women. Clinicians in obstetrics may expect a deficient proportion of pregnant women to report smoking and up to one-third to report low or moderate current general mental health status. Given that existing mental health issues and everyday tobacco use may harm both mother and child, be positively related in pregnant women, and change throughout the pregnancy, pregnant women should be screened automatically for both at each visit.