Prenatal Smoking and Birth Outcomes

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The article compares the efficacy and utility of single item prenatal tobacco exposure measures with more intensive alternative measures in predicting growth outcomes (Shisler, Eiden, Molnar, Schuetze, Huestis, & Homish 525).  The authors noted that smoking has a negative effect on the infant’s head size, birthweight and length, as well a gestational age.  This essay provides a summary and a critique of the article “Smoking in Pregnancy and Fetal Growth: The Case for More Intensive Assessment.”


The study used a longitudinal research design. The authors sampled 258 pregnant women and assessed them through four ways, including a self-report, a single-item question, metabolites and Infant meconium, as well as maternal saliva (Shisler et al. 526). The researchers used Pearson correlations to analyze the link between the PTE measures and birth outcomes.


The authors found out that alternative and more intensive measures, such as infant meconium and salivary assays predicted poor fetal growth. However, single-item self-report measures did not predict fetal growth. As noted, prenatal smoking has negative consequences on fetal growth. The authors established that many of the studies that rely on single item measures underestimate the adverse impact of prenatal smoking on the infants (Shisler et al. 527). Thus, more intensive methods involving biological measures or calendar-based reports should be used to examine fetal growth.


The article has a clear and easy to understand title that relates to the content. It has an explicit problem statement, purpose, and hypothesis. The authors choose the right methodology. A longitudinal design helps in evaluating associations between two or more variables (Caruana Roman, Hernandez-Sachez and Solli 1). However, the article lacks a literature review. Beyond the introduction, authors are required to conduct a comprehensive review of previous studies to identify gaps. Lastly, the authors did not account for confounding variables that could have affected the association between the study variables.

In summary, the article focuses on the measures used to determine the impact of smoking on fetal growth. The authors observed that intensive measures could predict infant development. Due to the limitations of single-item measures, more intensive methods should be used to examine fetal development.

Works Cited

Caruana Edward, J, Roman Marius, Hernandez-Sachez Jules and Solli, Piergiogio.

“Longitudinal Studies.” Journal of Thoracic Disease, vol. 7, no. 11, 2015, pp.537-540.

Shisler Shannon, Eiden Rina, Molnar Danielle, Schuetze Pamela, Huestis Marilyn., and

Homish, Gregory. “Smoking in Pregnancy and Fetal Growth: The Case for More Intensive Assessment.” Nicotine &Tobacco Research, vol. 19, no.5, 2017, pp. 525-531

August 09, 2023


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