A study by York University shows that pregnant women in Southeast Asia are more likely to use smokeless tobacco than non pregnant women, while there is no difference between pregnant women and non pregnant women in many low - and middle-income countries.
The researchers analyzed data from 42 low - and middle-income countries and conducted a separate subgroup analysis of Southeast Asia. This is the first study to compare tobacco use between pregnant and non pregnant women in 42 low - and middle-income countries, including 80454 pregnant women and 1230262 non pregnant women.
Dr. Radha Shukla of the Ministry of Health Sciences said: "it is particularly worrying that the use of tobacco by women of childbearing age, especially during pregnancy, will affect pregnancy. This situation includes not only smoking, but also the use of smokeless tobacco, such as chewing tobacco, snuff or oral snuff."
She added: "it is necessary to develop prevention and smoking cessation interventions to reduce tobacco use (cigarettes and smokeless tobacco) among women with low socio-economic status and education, because they are at the greatest risk of tobacco use."
Contrary to the findings in low - and middle-income countries, women in high-income countries have a relatively low rate of tobacco use during pregnancy.