Cigarette Smoking Among Working Women of Reproductive Age—United States, 2009–2013

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Employers play a vital role in promoting and supporting tobacco use cessation among tobacco-using workers. Cigarette smoking during pregnancy is a preventable cause of complications in pregnancy and adverse infant health outcomes.


To estimate cigarette smoking prevalence and attempts to quit among working women of reproductive age in different industries and occupations using a nationally representative survey.


The 2009–2013 National Health Interview Survey data for women of reproductive age (18–49 years) who were working in the week prior to the interview (n = 30855) were analyzed. Data were adjusted for nonresponse and weighted to produce nationally representative estimates.


During 2009–2013, among working women of reproductive age, an estimated 17.3% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 16.7–17.8) and 12.9% (95% CI: 12.4–13.4) were current and former cigarette smokers, respectively. Of women who smoke daily, 44.5% (95% CI: 42.5–46.5) had made a quit attempt for more than 1 day in the year before the interview. Cigarette smoking prevalence was highest among women working in the construction industry (29.2%; 95% CI: 22.8–35.7) and in construction and extraction occupations (34.6%; 95% CI: 23.4–45.9). Among working women who were pregnant at the time of the interview, 6.8% (95% CI: 4.4–9.2) and 20.4% (95% CI: 16.9–24.0) were current and former cigarette smokers, respectively.


Cigarette smoking prevalence varies by industry and occupation. Intensifying tobacco control efforts in high prevalence industries and occupations could result in higher cessation rates and improvements in health among women of reproductive age.


This study identified discrepancies in cigarette smoking among women of reproductive age across industries and occupations. In the absence of smoke-free local and state laws, employer-established smoke-free policies and workplace cessation programs are important for achieving reduction of tobacco use among women and for protecting other workers’ health. Results in this report may assist in developing educational campaigns targeting women in industries and occupations with high prevalence of cigarette smoking and low percentage of ever-smokers who had quit.

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