Global Tobacco Control Updates

Tobacco Control improves the health of pregnant women and their babies in Uruguay
02 Jul 2014
Research Alert

Between 2005 and 2012, Uruguay instituted a set of strong tobacco control policies. By 2012, the government had banned nearly all advertising, promotion and sponsorship of tobacco products, prohibited smoking in all indoor enclosed public places and workplaces, mandated rotating graphic warning labels covering 80 percent of the front and back of packs, allowed only one cigarette pack presentation per brand, and required healthcare providers to treat nicotine dependence.  In addition, the government moderately raised tobacco taxes.  These measures resulted in substantial declines in nationwide smoking rates.

A new study released by the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research finds that Uruguay’s national tobacco control policies led to a substantial increase in the likelihood that a pregnant smoker would quit by her third trimester and improved the health of newborns.  The study analyzed data from a nationwide registry of all pregnancies in Uruguay from 2007 to 2012.

Key Findings:

  • From 2007 to 2012, among pregnant women who smoked, the proportion who quit smoking by their third trimester significantly increased from 15 to 42 percent.

  • Quitting smoking by the third trimester increased birth weight by an estimated 163 grams.

Key Messages:

  • Comprehensive tobacco control policies help pregnant women smokers quit.

  • Comprehensive tobacco control policies improve the health of newborns by encouraging pregnant women who smoke to quit.


Link to the study in English

Link to the study in Spanish


Full Citation: Harris JE, Balsa AI, Triunfo P. Tobacco Control Campaign in Uruguay: Impact on Smoking Cessation During Pregnancy and Birth Weight. Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); January 2014.

The National Bureau of Economic Research is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization in the United States dedicated to promoting a greater understanding of how the economy works by disseminating unbiased economic research among public policymakers, business professionals, and the academic community.

If you have questions about the study or how to it your advocacy efforts, please email