Introduction: Throughout the Eastern Mediterranean region, tobacco is used primarily in 2 forms: cigarette smoking and waterpipe smoking. Despite the fact that tobacco use is considered as a global public health threat, waterpipe smoking is reported to be growing in popularity, particularly among women. The objectives of this study are to determine the prevalence and patterns of cigarette, waterpipe, and passive smoking among pregnant women in Jordan, and to assess their perception of harmful effects of cigarette and waterpipe smoking.
Methods: A total of 500 pregnant women were randomly recruited from maternity clinics in North and Middle of Jordan and surveyed regarding exposure to waterpipe tobacco and cigarette smoking.
Results: The results showed that 7.9% of women were current cigarette smokers and 8.7% were current waterpipe smokers. About 82.4% of all women reported that they are exposed to cigarette smoke and 32.8% reported that they are exposed to waterpipe smoke. The most common place where women are exposed to cigarette and waterpipe smoke was their house (50.4% and 48.7%, respectively) followed by public places (31.4% and 21.4%, respectively). In addition, the husband was the main source for exposure to cigarette and waterpipe smoke (48.5% and 42.7%, respectively). Approximately, 74% of women believed that cigarette smoking is addictive, whereas only 55.1% reported that waterpipe smoking leads to addiction.
Conclusions: Exposure of pregnant women to tobacco smoke is a public health problem in Jordan that requires immediate action.