Tobacco and Pregnancy
Women who smoke or are around smokers while pregnant expose their unborn child to a number of diseases and health risks.
According to the American Cancer Society and the American Lung Association:
- Low birth weight and premature delivery. It is estimated that smoking in women during pregnancy causes low birth weight in at least 1 in 5 infants and increases the risk of having a baby too early. Approximately 14 percent of premature deliveries and 1 in 10 infant deaths are attributed to mothers who smoke.
- Secondhand smoke consequences. Secondhand smoke can cause seemingly healthy, full-term babies to have narrowed airways and reduced lung function. There is also an increased risk of diseases, including severe asthma, ear infections, colds, pneumonia and bronchitis.
- Higher mortality rates. Smoking during pregnancy increases the infant's risk of death from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).