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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
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