A Queensland University study of 5000 pregnant women has found a correlation between smoking and poverty. The three year study measured smoking against income levels, with the lowest earners defined as those who attract an income of $4,144 a year and the highest above $21,639 a year. Two thirds of the lowest income group smoked before pregnancy compared with 46 per cent of middle income earners and 39 per cent of higher income earners. Young and impoverished single mothers are more likely to be heavy smokers with half of the lowest income earners puffing during pregnancy. And 14 per cent of them are such serious smokers that during pregnancy they light up more than 20 cigarettes a day.
Source: British Medical Journal 7135:316