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Proportion of pregnant white women — 21.8% — who reported smoking cigarettes within the previous 30 days, in a recent government survey [PDF]. Among pregnant women of the same age (15 to 44), 14.2% of blacks and 6.5% of Hispanics reported smoking. Smoking during pregnancy is one of the key risk factors for SIDS; it also increases risks of miscarriage, early separation of the placenta, premature birth, low birth weight and birth defects. The same survey found that black (12.8%) and white (12.2%) women drank alcohol at roughly the same rate in pregnancy; Hispanic women (7.4%) were less likely to drink while pregnant. Black pregnant women (7.7%) were more likely than whites (4.4%) or Hispanics (3.1%) to use illegal drugs. [via ABC News]

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