Ethnic differences in tobacco use during pregnancy: Findings from a primary care sample in São Paulo, Brazil

Karen Margaret Tabb, Hsiang Huang, Paulo Rossi Menezes, Gulnar Azevedo E Silva, Ya Fen Chan, Alexandre Faisal-Cury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objectives. Tobacco use during pregnancy is a global health concern. To date the majority of research originates in developed countries, thus we have a need to better understand factors related to maternal health in developing countries. We examine the prevalence and correlates of smoking by ethnicity in a sample of pregnant primary care patients in São Paulo, Brazil. Design. Data were obtained from completed surveys during perinatal care visits in primary care clinics. We examine a sample of 811 pregnant women surveyed during 20-30 weeks of pregnancy. Multiple logistic regression was used to obtain odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). Results. We found significant ethnic differences in smoking during pregnancy. Compared to White women, Black women were more likely to use tobacco during pregnancy (OR: 1.95; 95% CI: 1.16-3.27). In the fully adjusted model, when accounting for common mental disorders, differences in smoking during pregnancy by ethnicity remained (OR: 1.96; 95% CI: 1.14-3.36). Conclusions. There are ethnic differences in tobacco use during pregnancy. Clinical implications including universal screening for tobacco use during pregnancy and culturally relevant approaches to smoking cessation are suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-217
Number of pages9
JournalEthnicity and Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 4 2015


  • Brazil
  • Common mental disorders
  • Disparity
  • Pregnancy
  • Skin colour
  • Smoking
  • Tobacco use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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