EPIDEMIOLOGY OF TOBACCO USE
Tobacco use among women of child-bearing age varies considerably throughout the world. (See Table 1). Cultural, social and economic factors determine the frequency of smoking among relinquishing birth mothers. In some countries, birth mothers are usually impoverished and unable to afford costly cigarettes. In other countries, cigarettes are relatively inexpensive and smoking is socially acceptable among women. Accurate statistics are difficult to obtain; few countries collect data about smoking among pregnant women. However, many nations report rapid increases in smoking among teenage girls. Worldwide there is very little awareness about the potential ill effects of maternal smoking on the developing fetus. Tobacco use sometimes occurs with other forms of substance abuse, such as illicit drugs and alcohol.