GUIDE’s Tobacco Free Babies campaign explains the importance of reducing pre-natal and infant/child exposure to secondhand smoke.
Click on the boxes below to learn how secondhand smoke affects mothers and babies.
“Smoking also increases the risk of preterm delivery (before 37 weeks of gestation) (*). Premature and low-birthweight babies face an increased risk of serious health problems during the newborn period, chronic lifelongdisabilities (such as cerebral palsy, mental retardation and learning problems), and even death.” (March of Dimes)
“Smoking during pregnancy can cause low-birth weight, preterm delivery, and infant death. Smoking during pregnancy is estimated to account for 20 to 30 percent of low-birth weight babies, up to 14 percent of pretermdeliveries, and about 10 percent of all infant deaths according to American Lung Association” (American Pregnancy Association).
To learn more about premature birth complications click here.
* Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). What Do We Know About Tobacco Use and Pregnancy. June 11, 2007.
Coping with difficulties in conception can be very stressful for both parents. Smoking is one of the peventive conception problems causes. Smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke can lead to delay in conception. This is true for both males and females. European study (Hollander, 1996) evaluated the effects of smoking on fertility. The study found that women who smoked took more time to become pregnant than women who did not smoke. The study also revealed that heavy smokers experienced longer delays than lighter smokers.
Visit Smokefree.gov for information about smoking cessation.
Refernce: Hollander, D. (1996). Conception may take a long time among women who smoke. Family Planning Perspective, 28(4), 181 -182.
Studies have found an association between maternal smoking and number of cigarettes per day increses the risk of miscarriage (Neilsen et.al., ).
Miscarriage can be extremely stressful event for the entire family. Miscarriage often invloves physical and pshycological difficulties. Even though the exact cause of the miscarriage is usually unknown, smoking is one cause you can prevent. To learn more about miscarriage visit American Pregnancy Association.
Reference: Neilsen, A. et. al. (2006). Maternal smoking predicts the risk of spontaneous abortion. Acta Obstetrica Gynecologica, (85), 1057 – 1065.
Respiratory diseases, such as asthma and bronchitis, and ear infections are the most common diseases among children. Study that researched the effects of the secondhand smoke on infants during their first year of life found an association between maternal smoke and incidents of respiratory diseases among infants (Pedreira et.al., 1985). You can prevent your child from suffer recurrent illnesess by protecting him from secondhand smoke.
Reference: Pedreira et.al. (1985). Involuntary smoking and incidence of respiratory illness during the first year of life.
Women who smoke during the pregnancy have three times the odds of having a baby with low birth weight ( London, 2008).
Babies are considered as low birth weight when born less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces. Serious medical conditions, such as respiratory distress syndrome, are common among those babies.
Low birth weight also increases the risk for some chronic diseases like high blood pressure and heart diseases, in the adulthood. To learn more about low birth wight visit March of Dimes.
Refernce: S London. (2008). Associations Between Smoking, Poor Pregnancy Outcomes Are Cumulative. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 40(4), 238-9.
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden, unexplained death of an infant younger than 1 year old. The exact causes of SIDS are unknown, but researches found an association between maternal/prenatal and secondhand smoke and SIDS. SIDS is the leading cause of death in infants between 1 month and 1 year old. Most SIDS cases happen in babies between 2-4 months old.
To learn more about smoking and SIDS visit Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
According to Emory Maternal Substance Abuse and Child Development, children of women who smoked during their pregnancy continued to be shorter than children of women who did not smoke during their pregnancy at 7 and 11 years of age. Children of smokers have been found difficulties in hearing. Difficulties in this area may interfere with a child’s ability to speak and later to learn to read. Children of women who smoke may have poorer attentional regulation skills, more conduct problems, and an increased risk to be diagnosed with Attention Deficit-Disorder.
To learn more visit Emory Maternal Substance Abuse and Child Development.
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) funded researchers have found evidences that link prenatal exposure to tobacco to negative toddler behavior and early smoking experementation (NIDA Notes). An additional study revealed that prenatal exposure to nicotine causes lasting damage that makes the brain vulnerable to addiction upon later use of the drug ( Action on Smoking and Health). These data indicate that the children whose mothers smoked during the pregnancy or were exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely to initiate the smoking earlier and became addicted faster than children whose mothers didn’t smoke.