A new survey has revealed that almost fifty percent of pregnant Chinese women are plagued by second-hand smoke.
The survey by the Horizon Research Consultancy Group involved nearly 300 pregnant women, who polled in five major cities including Beijing and Shanghai, reports The China Daily.
It was revealed that 9.9 percent also suffered from passive smoking frequently and 4.8 percent were exposed to the smoke almost every day.
"The results are disappointing, particularly in the cities where authorities have issued smoking bans in public places," said Wu Yiqun, deputy director of the nongovernmental Think Tank Research Center for Health Development.
"The situation could be even worse in the large rural areas," she said.
The survey results were released in the run-up to World No Tobacco Day, which falls on Monday.
The survey found that about 80 percent of the second-hand smoke exposure occurred at the workplace.
But 30 percent of those polled said they would try to stop colleagues from smoking.
Nearly 60 percent of the respondents also reported being exposed to second-hand smoke at home, mostly from husbands who smoke.
Healthcare professionals constantly warn pregnant women about the dangers of second-hand smoke, which can result in low birth weights and premature births.
Tobacco smoke contains thousands of chemicals, at least 250 of which are known to be carcinogenic or otherwise toxic, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Many people including women suffering from secondhand smoke do not know enough about the health hazards, she said, citing the rising number of breast cancer cases among Chinese women.