ATLANTA (AP) -- Smoking by pregnant women dropped by one-third in the 1990s, with a particularly sharp decline among women in their late 20s and early 30s, the government said Tuesday.
But health officials are worried about a disturbing trend: Pregnant teen-agers have been smoking more since the mid-1990s.
"While the overall trend is encouraging, it's clear that we must do more to ensure young women understand smoking's real health risks for them and for their children," Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson said.
The CDC said 12.3 percent of women reported smoking during pregnancy in 1999, down from 18.4 percent in 1990. The rate dropped each year during the decade, declining across racial and ethnic lines.
Pregnant women ages 25 to 34 smoked 40 percent less often in 1999 than they did in 1990, according to the CDC report, the government's first analysis of smoking and pregnancy in the decade.
Smoking by pregnant women 18 and 19 years old dropped early in the decade but then rebounded, climbing to nearly one in five by 1999.
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