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Smoking during pregnancy has been shown to have significant adverse health effects for new born babies. Smoking is the leading preventable cause of low birth weight of infants who in turn, need more resources at delivery and are more likely to have related health problems in infancy and beyond. Despite these outcomes, many women still smoke during pregnancy. The main question for policy makers is whether tobacco control policies can influence maternal smoking and reduce adverse birth outcomes. The authors examine this question using data from the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System data from 2000 to 2005. This is a time period during which states significantly changed their tobacco control policies by raising excise taxes and imposing strong restrictions on indoor smoking.
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