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VOLUME 51 | NUMBER 5 | OCTOBER 2016


Do Smoking Bans Improve Neonatal Health?

Research Objective: To estimate the effects of smoking bans on neonatal health outcomes and maternal smoking behavior during pregnancy.

Data Sources: Restricted-use 1991–2009 Natality Detail Files, a Clean Air Dates Table Report, and the Tax Burden of Tobacco.

Study Design: A quasi-experimental study using difference-in-differences estimation based on legislative history of smoking restrictions or bans by type/place/county/state level. Dependent variables included average monthly percentage of healthy neonates, of term neonates born with low and very low birth weight, of premature births, of maternal smokers, and average number of cigarettes smoked daily during pregnancy. The analyses were restricted to singleton births and those that occurred in the same county as mother's county of residence.

Data Collection/Extraction Methods: The data from three data sources were combined using Federal Information Processing Standard codes.

Principal Findings: Results of the overall and stratified by maternal smoking status, educational level, and age regression analyses suggested no appreciable effect of smoking bans on neonatal health. Smoking bans had also no effect on maternal smoking behavior.

Conclusion: While there are health benefits to the general population from smoking bans, their effects on neonatal health outcomes and maternal smoking during pregnancy seem to be limited.

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