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Cigarette smoking during breastfeeding in Papua New Guinea: Prevalence and demographic and socio-economic predictors
Authors: Prince Peprah,Williams Agyemang-Duah,Naomi Gyamfi,Bernard Yeboah-Asiamah Asare,Dickson Boateng,Joseph Oduro Appiah,and Collins Adu
Source: PLOS ONE , DOI:
Topic(s): Breastfeeding
Tobacco use
Country: Oceania
  Papua New Guinea
Published: DEC 2022
Abstract: Background: Cigarette smoking during breastfeeding is reported to contribute to significant changes in the composition of breast milk not only by reducing its protective features but also affecting infants’ response to breastfeeding and breast milk. However, studies on the prevalence of cigarette smoking and associated factors during breastfeeding are limited in Papua New Guinea (PNG). This study estimates the prevalence of cigarette smoking and its association with demographic and economic factors among breastfeeding women in PNG. Methods: We used weighted survey data from the 2016–2018 PNG Demographic and Health Survey (PNGDHS). A weighted sample of 3,822 women who were breastfeeding during the survey were included in the study. The outcome variable in the present study is current cigarette smoking. A multiple logistic regression analysis was used to estimate the association between current cigarette smoking status and socio-demographic and economic variables of breastfeeding women. The regression analysis results were reported using adjusted odds ratios (aOR) with their respective 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Results: From the weighted sample, the prevalence of cigarette smoking among breastfeeding women was 21.9%; of which 60.8% smoked daily. The mean number of cigarettes smoked in the last 24 hours preceding the survey was 6.05(SD = 5.99). Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that breastfeeding women who were from the Momase (aOR: 2.337, CI: 1.786–3.058, p<0.001) and Highlands (AOR: 1.589, CI: 1.213–2.082, p = 0.001), had no religious affiliation (aOR: 3.665, CI: 1.235–10.877, p = 0.019), and households with daughters as household heads (aOR: 1.901, CI: 1.231–2.935, p = 0.004) and being in more than one union (aOR: 2.374, CI: 1.805–3.123, p<0.001) were significantly more likely to smoke cigarette compared to women from southern region, those affiliated to Anglican church, those with husband as household heads, and being in one union respectively. Conclusion: Cigarette smoking among breastfeeding women in PNG is relatively high, and region of residence, religion, relationship to household head, and the number of unions remain independent predictors. Interventions should target the individual socio-economic and cultural contexts within which breastfeeding occurs.