NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Respiratory Health (RESPIRE)

Perceived effects of second-hand smoke in pregnancy

This project is based at Neoventive Solutions in Pakistan


  • Project title: Perceived effects of second-hand smoke on a pregnant woman: a phenomenological study
  • Acute or chronic:  Both
  • Based at:  Neoventive Solutions
  • Start date:  September 2019
  • End date:  January 2021
  • Principal investigator:  Tabish Hazir
  • Project team:  Syed Yahya Sheraz, Karen Fairhust, Linda Bauld, Hira Kiani, Sumaira Nasim, Syed Mustafa Ali, Omair Sheikh


More than 40% of all pregnant women in Pakistan are exposed to second-hand smoke, which is attributable to approximately 7% of still births in the country. This is largely due to the high numbers of pregnant women exposed to tobacco smoke at home. Other effects of second-hand smoking during pregnancy include low birth weight, sudden infant death, acute and chronic respiratory symptoms and ear infection.

It is, therefore, important to take effective steps to reduce negative consequences of second-hand smoke on the outcome of pregnancies.

Previously researchers have tried to explore societal and cultural aspects of indoor smoking and exposure to SHS and attributed gender inequality and gendered power dynamics to women’s failure to negotiate smoke-free homes. Additionally, several interventions have been found to be effective in changing smoking-related behaviour. However, most do not provide thick description of interventions to ascertain their theoretical basis.

Therefore, examining the phenomenon of second-hand smoke with an in-depth understanding of social and cultural factors may help in describing smoking and anti-smoking related behaviour through qualitative exploration.

Aim and impact

The aim of the project is to examine how smoking partners of pregnant women in Pakistan perceive risks and behaviours related to second-hand smoke exposure, identifying key factors and motives which could help to promote smoking cessation efforts and decrease exposure of pregnant women to second-hand smoke.

The findings of this work can be utilised for designing an effective reduction strategy for tobacco use, which can act as a conceptual framework for behaviour change to reduce or eliminate the effects of second-hand smoke on pregnant women.

Key developments

  • Project final report submitted.
  • The study has been discussed with the current Parliamentary Secretary of Health in the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination.


Project data

Download the project Data Management Plan

View the project metadata on the Health Data Research Innovation Gateway