Tobacco Use and Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke amongst Pregnant Women in the United Arab Emirates: The Mutaba’ah Study
Taha, Mohammed Nagdi
Al Ghumgham, Zaki
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Abstract: Self-reported tobacco use is high in the male adult Emirati population (males ~36% vs. females ~3%); however, there are minimal data on tobacco use or exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) during pregnancy in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This study investigated the prevalence of, and factors associated with, tobacco use and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) amongst pregnant women in the UAE. Baseline cross-sectional data were analysed from the Mutaba’ah Study. Expectant mothers completed a self-administered questionnaire collecting sociodemographic information, maternal tobacco use, and ETS exposure during antenatal visits at three hospitals in Al Ain (UAE; May 2017–February 2021). Amongst 8586 women included in the study, self-reported tobacco use during pregnancy was low (0.7%), paternal tobacco use was high (37.9%), and a third (34.8%) of expectant mothers were exposed to ETS (28.0% at home only). Pregnant women who were employed (adjusted odds ratio (aOR): 1.35, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.19–1.52), with childbirth anxiety (aOR 1.21, 95% CI 1.08–1.36), and with an increased number of adults living in the same household (aOR 1.02 95% CI 1.01–1.03) were independently more likely to be exposed to ETS. Pregnant women with higher education levels (aOR 0.84, 95% CI 0.75–0.94) and higher gravidity (aOR 0.95, 95% CI 0.92–0.99) were less likely to be exposed to ETS. Public health efforts targeting smoking cessation amongst husbands and promoting smoke-free homes are warranted to help reduce prenatal ETS exposure in the UAE.