Friday, May 29, 2009

Smoking for Those Who Can't

Smoke-related health risks are notable among all smokers, but one group of people - infants - has an exceptionally high risk for smoking-related health issues despite the fact they can't even smoke. The CDC says 174,000 deaths each year, including 776 infant deaths, are attributed to women’s smoking habits.

“Smoking during pregnancy is one behavior known to result in infant morbidity and mortality and for which effective cessation interventions exist,” the CDC says. One in five women smoke for three months before becoming pregnant and may attempt to quit, but many start smoking shortly after the baby has been delivered. In 2005, the lowest prevalence was in New York City with 5.2% and the highest in West Virginia with 35.7%. The Healthy People 2010 goal is to reduce prenatal smoking to less than 1%.

Many of the dangers infants face associated with maternal smoking include low birth weight, preterm infants, and complications during pregnancy. And, the risks don’t end after pregnancy. Instead, secondhand smoke can cause respiratory infections, ear infections, and an increased likelihood of SIDS, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Smoking before conception can delay pregnancy and reduce fertility, but maternal smoking also costs the mother much more than the price of cigarettes. The CDC cites serious economic concerns when both the mother and child inevitably suffer the consequences of the mother’s smoking habits.

Amy Himmelstein
Tobacco Policy and Program Intern
Partnership for Prevention

1 Comment:

  1. armouris said...
    info on women smoking here -
    Why Women Should Never Smoke

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