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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health

Building capacity for a tobacco-free world

July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA

Thursday, July 13, 2006 - 12:00 PM

Smoking as a Form of Feminine Gender Abuse:a Report from Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Ifeyinwa N. Agbalokwu, MBBS, OAU OKPANI, NC ORAZULIKE, and J OMIETIMI. Obsteric and Gynaecology, University of Port-Harcourt Teaching Hospital Port-Harcourt Nigeria,West Africa, 4 Eliada Close Off Okporo Road,Port-Hacourt,Rivers State, Port-Harcourt, Nigeria

Objective: Individuals smoke worldwide, men apparently more than women especially in developing countries. In Nigeria, wives are generally subservient to men in marriage and are not expected to complain about husbands' misdemeanors. The present study investigated the level of husbands' smoking and its effect on their wives.

Methods: One thousand two hundred and eighty randomly selected married women of reproductive age were surveyed by means of a questionnaire to ascertain whether their husbands smoked, and the effect on their wives.

Results: One hundred and twenty husbands (9.4%) smoked cigarettes with mean of (3) and mode of (2) cigarettes per day. None of the wives smoked and none was happy that their husbands smoked. Reactions of wives ranged from indifference (22%), tolerance (24%), to disgust (54%). Smoking was a source of misunderstanding between 67% of these couples. Twenty five percent of the women felt ill during pregnancy because of the smoking. Ninety percent of the women whose husbands did not smoke felt that Christian beliefs and doctrines in various churches were responsible for their husbands not smoking. In conclusion, a significant proportion of respondents were affected adversely by husband smoking which in the authors view constitute a form of feminine gender abuse. We recommend broad based studies to validate our findings. The anti-smoking campaigns of Christian religious groups should be encouraged worldwide.