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Logo of tobcontTobacco ControlVisit this articleSubmit a manuscriptReceive email alertsContact usBMJ
Tob Control. 2003 June; 12(2): 161–167.
PMCID: PMC1747727

A method to guide community planning and evaluation efforts in tobacco control using data on smoking during pregnancy


Background: Effective community based tobacco control programmes are critical for state and nationwide impact. However, there is little discussion in the literature of methods for setting local objectives which use locally collected data and account for historical variation in progress.

Objectives: To develop and illustrate a method that uses locally available birth certificate data to model trends in tobacco use during pregnancy among women giving birth, predict future prevalence, and use predictions to set community specific tobacco control objectives.

Data source: Vital statistics. Wisconsin standard birth certificates, 1990–2000, which record the smoking status of the mother during pregnancy.

Data analysis: Trends in the prevalence of smoking during pregnancy in Wisconsin statewide and in all counties (n = 72) were modelled using linear regression of log prevalence on year. Model fit was assessed using R2. Regression slopes, indicating estimated relative annual percentage change in prevalence, were used to predict prevalence in 2005, and objectives were calculated as a 20% reduction from the predicted prevalence in 2005.

Conclusions: Modelling trends in the prevalence of smoking using locally collected data enables communities to set reasonable future tobacco control objectives that account for historical trends in progress.

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