Socio-demographic factors associated with smoking and smoking cessation among 426,344 pregnant women in New South Wales, Australia

Mohsin, Mohammed; Bauman, Adrian E.
January 2005
BMC Public Health;2005, Vol. 5 Issue 1, p138
Academic Journal
Background: This study explores the socio-demographic characteristics of pregnant women who continue to smoke during the pregnancy, and identifies the characteristics of the smokers who were likely to quit smoking during the pregnancy period. Methods: This was secondary analysis of the New South Wales (NSW) Midwives Data Collection (MDC) 1999-2003, a surveillance system covering all births in NSW public and private hospitals, as well as home births. Bivariate and multiple logistic regression analyses were performed to explore the associations between socio-demographic characteristics and smoking behaviour during pregnancy. Results: Data from 426,344 pregnant women in NSW showed that 17.0% continued to smoke during pregnancy. The smoking rate was higher among teenage mothers, those with an Aboriginal (indigenous) background, and lower among more affluent and overseas-born mothers. This study also found that unbooked confinements, and lack of antenatal care in the first trimester were strongly associated with increased risk of smoking during pregnancy. About 4.0% of the smoking women reported they may quit smoking during their pregnancy. Findings showed that mothers born overseas, of higher socio-economic status, first time mothers and those who attended antenatal care early showed an increased likelihood of smoking cessation during pregnancy. Those who were heavy smokers were less likely to quit during pregnancy. Conclusion: Although the prevalence of smoking during pregnancy has been declining, it remains a significant public health concern. Smoking cessation programs should target the population subgroups of women at highest risk of smoking and who are least likely to quit. Effective antismoking interventions could reduce the obstetric and perinatal complications of smoking in pregnancy.


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