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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

Knowledge, Attitudes and Behaviors of Tobacco Use and Environmental Tobacco Exposure: a Survey of Pregnant Women in Guatemala City

Ana L. Garces, MPH1, Nancy F. Krebs, MD2, Michele Bloch, MD, PhD3, Linda Wright, MD4, Nancy Moss4, Jamie Westcott, MS2, Jutta Thornberry5, Norman Goco, MHS6, Janet Bartz6, Tyler D. Hartwell6, Noel Solomons7, and Michael K. Hambidge, MD2. (1) Multidisciplinary Health Institute, 2 calle A 6-28, zona 10, Edificio Verona ofi. 206, Guatemala, Guatemala, (2) Section of Nutrition, Department of Pediatrics, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, 4200 East 9th Avenue, Box C225, Denver, CO 80262, (3) Tobacco Control Research Branch / Behavioral Research Program, National Cancer Institute, 6130 Executive Boulevard, MSC 7337, Executive Plaza North Room 4036, Bethesda, MD 20892-7337, (4) Centers for Research of Mothers and Children, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), 6100 Executive Blvd., Room 4B05J, Rockville, MD 20852, (5) Research Triangle Institute International, North Carolina, (6) RTI International, PO Box 12194, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, (7) Center for Studies of Sensory Impairments, Aging and Metabolism (CeSSIAM)

Objective: To obtain information on the knowledge, attitudes and behaviors regarding tobacco use of low-income pregnant women in Guatemala City. As secondary objectives, to examine pregnant women's and children's exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), and maternal knowledge of and attitudes toward health hazards of tobacco use and ETS exposure

Methods: A questionnaire was administered to a convenience sample of 759 pregnant women receiving antenatal care in 3 maternity clinics in Guatemala City.

Results: Preliminary results indicate that 35% had ever tried smoking cigarettes. 10% were ever regular smokers, however <1% were currently smoking. Of those with children <5 (n=330), 23% reported that children are exposed to some level of cigarette smoking in the home. Although 98% stated they believed that cigarette smoking during pregnancy can harm the unborn child's health, 51% did not know what health effects or diseases were caused by smoking during pregnancy. Furthermore, only 12% thought it was acceptable for women in their community to smoke cigarettes.

Discussion: The burden of tobacco use is currently shifting from high income nations to low- and middle-income nations, and women's tobacco use is already rising in many developing countries. More than 1/3 of pregnant women have tried cigarettes, many pregnant women and young children are at risk for ETS exposure, and many pregnant women lack specific knowledge of the related health hazards

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