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Missouri has one of the nation's highest smoking rates among pregnant women, and it's costing the state millions of dollars annualy. Mike Smith files this report:
From the Associated Press and KSMU News:
Research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows 18.2 perceent of expectant mothers in Missouri smoke. That's the 8th highest rate in the nation. Clay Goddard, with the Greene county Department of Health says these figures come as no surprise as Greene County's rate is higher than the state average. He also says the health department has identified the problem as a priority. The CDC study also says 27.2 percent of pregnant women between the ages of 15 and 19 smoke.
Pam Pittman, also with the Greene County Department of Health, says smoking while pregnant results in fewer nutrients and less oxygen getting to the fetus.
The CDC says smoking by pregnant women costs the state about 10 million dollars a year in otherwise preventable neo-natal health care.