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Open Access Research article

Maternal age, education level and migration: Socioeconomic determinants for smoking during pregnancy in a field study from Turkey

Isil Ergin*, Hur Hassoy, Feride A Tanik and Gokce Aslan

Author Affiliations

Ege University School of Medicine, Department of Public Health, Bornova, 35100, Izmir, Turkey

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BMC Public Health 2010, 10:325  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-325

Published: 9 June 2010



Smoking during pregnancy has been associated with socioeconomic determinants and it is recognized as the most important preventable risk factor for an unsuccessful pregnancy outcome. Turkey has national data on the prevalance of smoking during pregnancy; however there is no data on the characteristics of the high-risk population. This is a field study that aims to identify socioeconomic determinants for smoking during pregnancy as well as differentiating the daily and occasional smokers.


Cross sectional study was conducted among women with 0-5 year old children living in the area served by Primary Health Care Center (PHCC) in Burhaniye, Turkey. Face-to-face interviews were conducted by the researchers during January-March 2008 at the home of the participants with 83.7% response rate (n = 256). The relation of "smoking during pregnacy" and "daily smoking during pregnancy" with the independent variables was determined with χ2 tests. Women's age, educational level, number of previous births, place of origin, migration, partner's educational level, poverty, perceived income, social class were evaluated. Statistical significance was achieved when the p value was less than 0.05. The variables in relation with the dependent variables in the χ2 tests were included in the forward-stepwise logistic analysis.


Prevalance of smoking during pregnancy was 22.7%. The majority (74.1%) were daily smokers. Young mothers (< 20), low educated women and migrants were at increased risk for smoking during pregnancy. Low education and being a migrant were risk factors for daily consumption (p < 0.05).


Systematic attention should be paid to socioeconomic determinants in smoking for pregnant women, especially in countries like Turkey with high rates of infant and mother mortality and substantial health inequalities. Young mothers (< 20), low educated women and migrants are important groups to focus on.