Pregnant women still smoking despite risks

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Smoking while pregnant causes low birth weight, higher incidence of SIDS, and birth defects. And even if you do not smoke cigarettes, inhalation of second hand smoke is equally dangerous

In the 40s, 50s and 60s, smoking was the epitome of cool. Hollywood icons like James Dean and Humphrey Bogart were never without one, and even IT girls Audrey Hepburn and Marlene Dietrich made smoking look sensual and sophisticated.

But soon a link between smoking and lung cancer has been established by doctors. Today, one of the undisputed truths in the world is the fact that smoking kills.

With this in mind, one would think that people would lay off of cigarettes, especially pregnant woman. But a recent study revealed that 8.4 percent of moms still smoke.

READ: The effects of smoking and passive smoking on children

Meanwhile 20.6 percent of women who smoked in the first or second trimesters quit by the third.

“And women who continued to puff cigarettes smoked fewer as their pregnancy progressed, lighting up nine per day by the third trimester versus 13 per day before pregnancy.”

Smoking while pregnant causes low birth weight, higher incidence of SIDS, and birth defects. And even if you do not smoke cigarettes, inhalation of second hand smoke is equally dangerous.

In children exposure to secondhand smoke increases a risk for problems, from asthma and SIDS to poor cognitive function and obesity.

“Though the statistics paint a good picture overall, with more than 90 percent of pregnant women not smoking,” says David Tinkleman, MD at National Jewish Health, “they fail to address the rate at which women who quit smoking pick up the habit again after their pregnancy is over.”

Cigarette smoking is an addiction, and like most addictions the earlier you quit the better. Mothers and babies are the most at risk, but if you’re smoking it’s best that you stop soon.

It is good not only for your health, but for the health of those around you and the health of the environment.

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