Introduction: Though there is ample evidence on adverse effects of tobacco exposure caused by smoking during pregnancy on foetal outcomes, there is lack of studies done on the effects of exposure caused by transdermal absorption, as is seen among beedi rolling women. Therefore, this study was planned, to assess the effect of maternal exposure to tobacco, in the form of beedi-rolling, on the birth weight and other neonatal anthropometric measurements. Materials and Methods: A cross sectional study with controls was conducted, with 102 beedi rollers forming the study group and an equal number of matched controls (control group) (total 204). Data was collected by using a pre-tested questionnaire and anthropometric examinations of the neonates were carried out within 48 hours of their births. Results: Mean birth weight of the newborns was 2.66 (SD=0.32) among those who were born to beedi rolling women and it was 2.63 (SD=0.38) kg among the control group. Crown heel length was 48.09 centimeters (SD=1.93) in the study group and it was 48.12 cm (SD=1.92) in the control group. Beedi rolling beyond the 7th month of gestation and for more than six hours per day was associated with a small but insignificant decline in birth weight and crown heel length. Conclusion: Beedi-rolling was found to be relatively safe during pregnancy but it could produce adverse effects if it was continued into the third trimester and for longer durations. This study can make the beedi rollers as well as their employers aware of harmful over-exposure to beedi rolling and help them in preventing it.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Biochemistry