The harmful effects of smoking during pregnancy are well known, but we lack prevalence data concerning this subject in Austria. The aim ofz the present study was to determine the prevalence and any changes in the prevalence of smoking during pregnancy in the last few years. The investigation was conducted at a perinatal center in Vienna, Austria. Further aims of the study were to evaluate maternal characteristics associated with smoking and demonstrate the harmful effects of smoking on neonatal outcome in this population. Once inquired, self-reported smoking during pregnancy, maternal age, and neonatal data from 2007 to 2012 were evaluated retrospectively. Of birth records, 11,142 were analyzed. From 2007 to 2012, the prevalence of smoking declined significantly from 19.1 to 15.6 %. The overall prevalence was 18.1 % and was highest (43.7 %) among young women (<20 years). The risk of small for gestational age (SGA) was significantly higher among newborns of smoking mothers.
Conclusion: The prevalence of smoking among pregnant women has declined in Austria in the last few years but is still quite high. Prevention programs should focus on young women, who are at highest risk in this regard.