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Smoking rates among pregnant women see decline in Oklahoma

Pregnant women in Oklahoma are smoking less, according to new data. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

Smoking rates among pregnant women in Oklahoma have declined, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

Data shows a 33.5-percent decline in smoking among pregnant women since 2009. There's also been a 10-percent drop in infant deaths.

“To help continue this positive trend, we encourage women to be healthy before and during pregnancy,” said Director of Maternal and Child Health Service Joyce Marshall in a statement.

“Many factors affect birth outcomes including smoking during pregnancy. Although we’ve seen a significant decrease in smoking rates, most recent data indicates that one out of every eight Oklahoma women continues to smoke during the last three months of pregnancy. As we celebrate improvements in smoking rates among pregnant women, we acknowledge that more needs to be done to support women and their families to quit smoking.”

Smoking during pregnancy can contribute to premature birth, low birth weight, miscarriage and certain birth defects.

Mothers who stop smoking during pregnancy increase the chance their baby will have healthy lungs, as well as reduce the baby's risk to develop sudden infant death syndrome.

For Oklahomans thinking about quitting or ready to quit tobacco, the Department of Health says you can call 1-800-QUIT NOW (784-8669).

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