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Smoking in the home after childbirth: prevalence and determinants in an English cohort
  1. Sophie Orton1,
  2. Tim Coleman1,
  3. Laura L Jones2,
  4. Sue Cooper1,
  5. Sarah Lewis3
  1. 1UK Centre for Tobacco & Alcohol Studies & Division of Primary Care, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
  2. 2UK Centre for Tobacco & Alcohol Studies & Unit of Public Health, Epidemiology & Biostatistics, School of Health & Population Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
  3. 3UK Centre for Tobacco & Alcohol Studies & Division of Epidemiology & Public Health, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Sophie Orton; Sophie.orton{at}


Objectives Children's exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) is causally linked to childhood morbidity and mortality. Over 38% of English children (aged 4–15) whose parents are smokers are exposed to SHS in the home. Little is known about the prevalence of SHS exposure in the homes of young infants (≤3 months). This study aimed to estimate maternal self-reported prevalence of SHS exposure among infants of women who smoked just before or during pregnancy, and identify factors associated with exposure.

Setting Primary Care, Nottingham, England.

Participants Current and recent ex-smoking pregnant women (n=850) were recruited in Nottingham, England. Women completed questionnaires at 8–26 weeks gestation and 3 months after childbirth. Data on smoking in the home 3 months after childbirth was available for 471 households.

Primary and secondary outcome measures Maternal-reported smoking in the home 3 months after childbirth.

Results The prevalence of smoking in the home 3 months after childbirth was 16.3% (95% CI 13.2% to 19.8%) and after multiple imputation controlling for non-response 18.2% (95% CI 14.0% to 22.5%). 59% of mothers were current smokers; of these, 24% reported that smoking occurred in their home compared to 4.7% of non-smokers. In multivariable logistic regression, mothers smoking ≥11 cigarettes per day were 8.2 times (95% CI 3.4 to 19.6) more likely to report smoking in the home. Younger age, being of non-white ethnicity, increased deprivation and less negative attitudes towards SHS were also associated with smoking in the home.

Conclusions This survey of smoking in the home 3 months after childbirth found a lower prevalence than has been reported in older children. Interventions to support smoking mothers to quit, or to help them restrict smoking in the home, should target attitudinal change and address inequality relating to social disadvantage, younger age and non-white ethnic groups.


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