Cigarette Smoking, Illicit Medicine, Substance and Alcohol Abuseamong Pregnant Women: A Cross Sectional Study from Iran

Document Type : Original Article


1 Health Education and Promotion Department, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Vali-e-Asr Reproductive Health Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran , Iran


The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of illicit medicine abuse among pregnant women who referred to the general teaching hospital in Tehran.

Materials and methods
A non-randomized sample of 2189 eligible pregnant women, which were at 2nd and 3rd trimester, were visited for 2nd prenatal care or subsequent consultation and being confident regarding the time of taking illicit medicine, were enrolled from 15 teaching obstetric clinics, located in Tehran, during August and September 2004. A self administered questionnaire that was consisted of questions regarding demographic characteristics , obstetric history, illicit medicine taking, substance and alcohol abuse by pregnant women and their family members’/ friends’ during current pregnancy, was used to collect data. Data were analyzed by SPSS, version 13.

2189 pregnant women with the mean age of 26±5.5 years studied in this study. Of all, 967(44.9%) were prime gravid and 464(21.2%) carrying unwanted pregnancy, 116 ones (5.29%) had taken medicine at first trimester, among them 114 participants (98.3) used unsafe medicine. In all, 16 individuals (0.7%) smoked cigarette, 3 participants (0.2%) abused substance. The rate of alcohol abuse was 0.2% among studied participants, 11% among participants’ husbands and 15.7% among participants’ family member. Of all, 641 participants’ husband (29.3%) were smoker.

Although this study showed insignificant rate of substance abuse among studied women, the high percent of these women exposed to non prescribed illicit medicines and passive smoking during their first trimester of their pregnancy that should be considered strongly.