Exclusive and Dual Cigarette and Hookah Smoking Is Associated with Adverse Perinatal Outcomes among Pregnant Women in Cairo, Egypt
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Abstract: This study assessed the prevalence of prenatal smoking, factors associated with prenatal smoking, and its association with birth outcomes in a sample of pregnant women in Egypt. Pregnant women were recruited during their last trimester from antenatal clinics in Cairo from June 2015 to May 2016. Participants completed an interviewer-administered survey that assessed tobacco use and attitudes, and exhaled carbon monoxide (CO) was measured. Gestational age at delivery and offspring birth weight were collected via a postnatal phone interview. Two hundred pregnant women ages 16–37 years participated. More than a quarter (29.0%) of women reported smoking (cigarettes, hookah, or both) during their current pregnancy, and hookah was more popular than cigarettes. Most women who smoked prior to their current pregnancy either maintained their current smoking habits (46.6%) or switched from dual to hookah-only smoking (46.6%). Current smokers during pregnancy had a higher mean (±SD) exhaled CO level (2.97 ± 1.45 vs. 0.25 ± 0.60 ppm, p < 0.001) and had babies with a lower mean birth weight (2583 ± 300 vs. 2991 ± 478 g, p < 0.001) than non-smokers. Smokers during pregnancy had greater odds of premature birth and/or low birth weight babies compared to non-smokers. Dual cigarette-hookah smokers had the highest risk. Additional focused programs are required to prevent women of childbearing age from initiating tobacco use and empower women to stop tobacco use during the preconception and gestational periods.