In Australia one out of five women smoke during pregnancy, despite increased awareness about the effect of tobacco on children, says a new research.
Dr Elizabeth Maloney and Dr Delyse Hutchinson of the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at the University of New South Wales reviewed data from the Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) to come up with their findings.
The research suggests that mothers are more likely to smoke while pregnant and after giving birth if their partner smokes, reports the Daily Telegraph.
Consequently, about 29,000 babies below 12 months of age and 36,000 children aged 4-5 inhale tobacco smoke at home.
According to the study: "Smoking inside the home remains a major public health concern, and a difficult issue to address as it would be impossible to regulate."
Although, the study noted that overall smoking was decreasing, it revealed that babies and children were still exposed to smoke.
Nearly 18 percent mothers said they smoked during pregnancy, but a majority had less than 10 cigarettes in a day.
Dr Maloney pointed out that the research showed that women found it hard to kick the habit.
She said: "They also show that partners are the single strongest influence on whether a mother will continue smoking after giving birth and importantly whether she will start smoking again after quitting during pregnancy.
"That is why we need to target families and partners not just mothers."
"There are vulnerable groups that need to be targeted. You need to target the ones that can't give up during pregnancy and those that quit and then start again, " Dr Malony added.