Alcohol and tobacco use during pregnancy are among the strongest and most preventable risk factors for adverse neonatal health outcomes, but few developmentally sensitive, population-based studies of this phenomenon have been conducted. To address this gap, the present study examined the prevalence and correlates of alcohol and tobacco use among pregnant adolescents (aged 12–17) and adults (aged 18–44) in the United States. Data were derived from the population-based National Survey of Drug Use and Health (80,498 adolescent and 152,043 adult women) between 2005 and 2014. Findings show disconcerting levels of past-month use among pregnant women with 11.5% of adolescent and 8.7% of adult women using alcohol, and 23.0% of adolescent and 14.9% of adult women using tobacco. Compared to their non-pregnant counterparts, pregnant adolescents were less likely to report past 30-day alcohol use (AOR = 0.52, 95% CI = 0.36–0.76), but more likely to report past 30-day tobacco use (AOR = 2.20, 95% CI = 1.53–3.18). Compared to their non-pregnant adult counterparts, pregnant adults were less likely to report using alcohol (AOR = 0.06, 95% CI = 0.05–0.07) and tobacco (AOR = 0.47, 95% CI = 0.43–0.52). Compared to pregnant abstainers, pregnant women reporting alcohol/tobacco use were more likely to have had a major depressive episode in the past 12 months, report criminal justice system involvement, and endorse comorbid alcohol/tobacco use. Given alcohol and tobacco's deleterious consequences during pregnancy, increased attention to reducing use is critical. Findings suggest that tobacco use is especially problematic for both adolescents and adults and is strongly linked with depression and criminal justice involvement, especially among adults.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health