A random encounter with a warning sign at a north Eugene grocery store put Gulcan Cil on the trail of research toward her UO doctoral degree and, now, a newly published paper. The paper, published in the Journal of Health Economics, took a deep dive into extensive federal data to probe behavioral changes that likely resulted from point-of-sale warning signs urging women who are pregnant to avoid alcohol.
In states requiring the signage, drinking by pregnant women is down 11 percent, Cil found. She also found evidence of fewer premature births coming with less than 32 weeks gestation and fewer births of babies weighing less than 3.5 pounds. The biggest effects were among women 30 and older.