Pregnant women in North Carolina were less likely to be exposed to secondhand nicotine after a “smoking ban” Date: January 10 2018 Source: January 10, 2018 Duke Health National Institute Summary: New study finds that pregnant women were less likely to be exposed to secondhand smoke after North Carolina enacted a “smoking ban” in 2009 that banned smoking in public places such as bars and restaurants. A new Duke Health study shows that pregnant women are less likely to be exposed to secondhand smoke after North Carolina’s 2009 “smoking ban” banning smoking in public places such as bars and restaurants. “Pregnant women in North Carolina less exposed to secondhand nicotine after smoking ban.” ScienceDaily. Pregnant women in North Carolina were less likely to be exposed to nicotine after the smoking ban. Blood tests showed that most pregnant women who did not smoke were not exposed to nicotine in the days leading up to the study. Smoking and secondhand smoke can contribute to complications such as miscarriages, low birth weight, premature birth, learning and behavioral problems in children. The study focused on the Southeastern United States, which has some of the highest rates of perinatal poor outcomes, said lead study author Julia Schechter, PhD, a clinical psychologist and associate professor in Duke’s Health Department. Her exposure to secondary smoking was measured by the presence of cotinine, a plasma biomarker that indicates exposure to nicotine in the last 48-72 hours. 26, 2017 Exposure to secondary smoking has long been associated with adverse health outcomes. While overall exposure has declined, the study found racial and socioeconomic differences among those who continue to suffer from it at home, at work, and in their communities, especially African American women, women with lower levels of education, and women who are unmarried. The impact of smoking bans on secondhand smoke exposure among nonsmoking pregnant women in the southeastern United States. Schechter and “her” colleagues are also examining possible links between tobacco exposure during pregnancy and ADHD. Although some women were still exposed after the ban, their average cotinine blood levels were lower than before the ban. 24, 2019 Expecting parents who smoke may increase the risk of congenital heart defects in their children, according to a new study.