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February 17, 1984

Maternal Smoking and Perinatal Health

Author Affiliations

Upstate Medical Center Syracuse, NY

JAMA. 1984;251(7):935. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340310049021

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


Mary Sexton, PhD, MPH, and Richard J. Hebel, PhD, have contributed to the current knowledge of maternal and perinatal health in their article "A Clinical Trial of Change in Maternal Smoking and Its Effect on Birth Weight."

Smoking has generally been recognized as unhealthy and it is suspected that it may directly or indirectly impair fetal growth during pregnancy. However, because of the multitude of factors influencing fetal growth, this has been hard to prove or measure. More important, the potential benefit to be derived from cutting down or stopping smoking during pregnancy is as controversial. Despite these difficulties, the authors, via rigorous control and the use of a biochemical marker for smoking, have demonstrated that a specific antismoking campaign for smoking pregnant women results in twice the number of women discontinuing or cutting down to five cigarettes or less per day and that the intervention results in an important