Pregnant Women's Perception of Secondhand Smoke Exposure

Rada Artzi-Medvedik, Nourhan Mohamed, Ilana R.Azulay Chertok

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background:Birth outcomes including low birth weight, preterm birth, and delayed infant neurodevelopment are associated with secondhand smoke exposure while pregnant. The purpose of the study was to explore pregnant women's perspectives on secondhand smoke exposure to understand their experience and inform recommendations.Study Design and Methods:Qualitative semistructured interviews were conducted with 15 secondhand smoke-exposed pregnant women in the United States.Results:Four primary themes were identified: Feeling powerless, trapped, and discomfort; enhancing women's self-advocacy and initiative; having conflicting feelings about secondhand smoke exposure; and desiring professional advice and education. Women expressed concern about prenatal secondhand smoke exposure, although they felt unable to request that people refrain from smoking in their presence or personal space. Women's strategies to minimize secondhand smoke exposure often involved their own social isolation. Women described sources of support, educational needs, and desire for practical advice in secondhand smoke avoidance.Clinical Implications:Findings underscore the role of nurses working with pregnant women living with household members who smoke to educate women about secondhand smoke risks and strategies for avoidance and to enhance women's self-confidence in advocating for themselves to reduce their exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-358
Number of pages6
JournalMCN The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2022


  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal smoke exposure
  • Qualitative study
  • Secondhand smoke exposure
  • Smoking
  • Tobacco smoke pollution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (nursing)
  • Maternity and Midwifery


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