Maternal Tobacco use during Pregnancy in South Africa: Results from a National Population‑based Survey

Nancy Phaswana‑Mafuya, Karl Peltzer, Supa Pengpid


Background: Tobacco use in pregnancy is linked with various negative health effects. The aim of this study was to examine the prevalence of maternal tobacco use during pregnancy and sociodemographic and health correlates.

Methods: Data of ever pregnant women from the cross‑sectional “South African National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (SANHANES‑1) 2011‑12” were analyzed. The sample included 5089 adolescents and adult women aged 15–55 years. They responded to questions on tobacco use, sociodemographic and health indicators.

Results: Results indicate that 5.0% [95% confdence interval (CI) = 4.3, 5.9] of South African women had engaged in tobacco use during their pregnancy. In adjusted analysis, being Colored and White population groups, poor self‑rated health status, and having chronic medical conditions were associated with tobacco use during pregnancy.

Conclusions: Findings suggest links between sociodemographic and health variables and prenatal tobacco use, which may have public health policy implications.

Keywords: Health status, mental health, pregnancy, South Africa, tobacco use

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