Families at Risk: Home and Car Smoking Among Pregnant Women Attending a Low-Income, Urban Prenatal Clinic

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Abstract

Introduction:

Secondhand smoke exposure (SHSe) has been identified as a distinct risk factor for adverse obstetric and gynecological outcomes. This study examined the prevalence of SHSe reduction practices (i.e., home and car smoking bans) among pregnant women in a large U.S. prenatal clinic serving low-income women.

Methods:

Pregnant women (N = 820) attending a university-based, urban prenatal clinic in Houston, Texas, completed a prenatal questionnaire assessing bans on household and car smoking and a qualitative urine cotinine test as part of usual care. Data were collected from April 2011 to August 2012.

Results:

Nearly one-third (n = 257) of the sample reported at least 1 smoker living in the home. About a quarter of the women in the full sample did not have a total smoking ban in their home and car. Within smoking households, 44% of the pregnant women reported smoking, 56% reported smoking by another household member, and in 26% of smoking households both the pregnant woman and at least one other person were smoking. Only 43% of women with a household smoker reported a total ban on smoking, with higher rates among Hispanic women. Smoking bans were less common when the pregnant women smoked, when more than 1 smoker resided in the home, and when pregnant with her first child.

Conclusions:

SHSe among low-income pregnant women is high, and interventions to raise awareness and increase the establishment of smoking bans in homes and cars are warranted.

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