Smoking and Pregnancy

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

02 Feb 2003, 00:34 #31

From Join Together Online:

Many Women Return to Smoking After Pregnancy


Although more women are quitting smoking during pregnancy, a new study finds that many return to cigarettes during the post-natal period, Health 24 reported Jan. 27.

The study analyzed surveys conducted from 1993 to 1999 involving 115,000 new mothers from 10 U.S. states. The data showed that 51 percent of pregnant women quit smoking in 1999, but half of them resumed smoking within six months of giving birth.

Those more likely to begin smoking again were teenagers and heavy smokers.

Based on the study's findings, author Dr. Gregory Colman of Pace University in New York recommended that doctors encourage women to stay away from cigarettes after their baby is born by emphasizing the dangers of secondhand smoke to infants.

The study is published in the January 2003 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Colman, G., & Joyce, T. (2003) Trends in smoking before, during, and after pregnancy in ten states. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 24(1): 29-35.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

24 Mar 2003, 21:24 #32

Image For Vickie:

The real "personal" benefit of quitting smoking when you are pregnant is that you have finally freed yourself smoking. That benefit is the same even if you quit when you are not pregnant. To keep your personal Freedom is as simple as always remembering to never take another puff!


Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

28 Mar 2003, 20:48 #33

Study: Smoking During Pregnancy Impairs Fetal Development

British research finds that women who smoke during pregnancy risk having smaller babies with smaller brains, Reuters reported March 24.

According to researchers at University College London, smoking damages the placenta and reduces levels of a critical growth hormone.

"The profound effects of smoking on fetal development are irreversible and may cause impairment in the health and well-being of the offspring in later life," said Dr. Peter Hindmarsh, lead author of the study. "In particular, the reduced brain size that we saw in smokers' babies could lead to impaired cognitive ability of the child."

The study involved 1,650 expectant mothers, including 200 who smoked throughout their pregnancy. The researchers measured blood flow between the fetus and placenta and monitored levels of insulin-like growth factors (IGF), a group of hormones essential to fetal growth and organ development.

After birth, the researchers weighed the newborns and measured their head size to determine brain size.

The study found that blood flow in the artery joining the fetus to the placenta was lower in women who smoked. This resulted in damage to the placenta and restricted the delivery of essential nutrients.

In addition, there was a lower amount of IGF in umbilical-cord blood among women who smoked. The levels varied, based on how many cigarettes the mother smoked.

"What we're talking about are reductions of about 10 to 15 percent in IGF levels, producing rather similar reductions in overall birth size, birth length, and head growth," said Hindmarsh.

Hindmarsh presented the study's findings at the annual meeting of the British Endocrine Societies, held recently in Glasgow, Scotland.

John Gold
Joined: 20 Jan 2009, 21:43

14 Jun 2004, 18:54 #34

SIDS prevention--good progress,
but now we need to focus on avoiding nicotine.

Acta Paediatr. 2004 April;93(4):450-2.

Sundell HW.

Department of Pediatrics, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee 37232-2585, USA. [][/url]

Chong et al. examined risk factors for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) before and after the start of the Swedish campaign to reduce the risk of SIDS. They found that maternal smoking was the strongest risk factor for SIDS in the post-campaign compared to the pre-campaign period.

CONCLUSION: After successful results of the SIDS campaigns to prevent prone sleeping, strong efforts need to be undertaken to eliminate maternal smoking during pregnancy altogether without replacing cigarette smoking with other nicotine delivery devices such as snuff, gum or patches.

Publication Types:
PMID: 15188968 [PubMed - in process]


John Gold
Joined: 20 Jan 2009, 21:43

14 Jun 2004, 19:23 #35

Other discussions, studies and articles in this thread include ...
  • Message 2 & Message 3 Quitting during pregnancy sometimes seeming absurdly easy (Joel)
  • Message 7 Postpartum return to smoking among usual smokers who quit during pregnancy (2001 study)
  • Message 8, Message 11 NRT during pregnancy (Joel)
  • Message 13 Smoking, Sex and Reproduction (ASH Fact Sheet)
  • Message 17 Mothers who smoke may be hearing from colicky babies (2001 news article)
  • Message 18 Prenatal Nicotine Exposure Evokes Alterations of Cell Structure in Hippocampus and Somatosensory Cortex (2002 study)
  • Message 24 Nicotinic receptor expression following nicotine exposure via maternal milk (2002 study)
  • Message 25 Fetal Nicotine Exposure Tied to Breathing Problems (2002 news article)
  • Message 26 Altered Breathing Pattern after Prenatal Nicotine Exposure in the Young Lamb (2002 study)
  • Message 27 Smoking Moms Boost Unborn Babies' Autism Risk (2002 news article)
  • Message 28 When Moms Smoke, Certain Kids Are More Vulnerable to Respiratory Disease; Children With Key Common Genetic Variation Are More Susceptible to Asthma and Other Breathing Problems If Exposed to Tobacco in Womb (2002 news article)
  • Message 30 Study Suggests Why Cigarette Smoke a SIDS Risk (2002 news article)
  • Message 36 Joel discussing how quitting for the fetus or baby is not quitting for you.
  • Message 37 Joel discussing post-partum relapse
  • Message 38 Dangers of smoking while pregnant need to be emphasized by health care providers (2002 article)
  • Message 39 A reexamination of smoking before, during, and after pregnacy (2002 study)
  • Message 42 Many Women Return to Smoking After Pregnancy (2003 article)
  • Message 47 Study: Smoking During Pregnancy Impairs Fetal Development (2003 article)
  • Message 54 SIDS prevention--good progress, but now we need to focus on avoiding nicotine (2004 study)

gold osomashi
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

29 Sep 2004, 02:24 #36

Thanks very much!!

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 01:33

29 Sep 2004, 10:13 #37

Thank you for this string. This has been so appropriate in my life. For my first two pregnancies, I quit smoking easily. However, I did it for my child- not for me. I immediately relapsed right after both children were born. I am currently pregnant again. However, this time I quit and joined this site months before becoming pregnant. I quit this time for me. Thanks!


I have been quit for 5 Months, 3 Weeks, 1 Day, 23 hours, 15 minutes and 44 seconds (175 days). I have saved $874.55 by not smoking 4,927 cigarettes. I have saved 2 Weeks, 3 Days, 2 hours and 35 minutes of my life. My Quit Date: 4/5/2004

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

05 Mar 2005, 06:27 #38

From above:
FACT SHEET NO. 7 July 2001



Cigarette smoking can affect women's fertility; men's fertility; sexual function in men; pregnant women's health; the health of an unborn child; and the health of young children.


Women who smoke may have reduced fertility. One study found that 38% of non-smokers conceived in their first cycle compared with 28% of smokers. Smokers were 3.4 times more likely than non-smokers to have taken more than one year to conceive. It was estimated that the fertility of smoking women was 72% that of non-smokers.[1] A recent British study found that both active and passive smoking was associated with delayed conception.[2] Cigarette smoking may also affect male fertility: spermatozoa from smokers has been found to be decreased in density and motility compared with that of non-smokers.[3]

Male sexual impotence

Impotence, or penile erectile dysfuntion, is the repeated inability to have or maintain an erection. One US study of men between the ages of 31 and 49 showed a 50% increase in the risk of impotence among smokers compared with men who had never smoked.[4] Another US study, of patients attending an impotence clinic, found that the number of current and ex-smokers (81%) was significantly higher than would be expected in the general population (58%).[5]

Overall smoking increases the risk of impotence by around 50% for men in their 30s and 40s. ASH and the British Medical Association have calculated that around 120,000 UK men in this age group are needlessly impotent as a result of smoking.[6]

Smoking and oral contraceptives

For younger women, smoking and the use of oral contraceptives increases the risk of a heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular disease by tenfold. This effect is even more marked in women over 45.[7] It is therefore important that all women who take the contraceptive pill be advised not to smoke.

Smoking and pregnancy

Approximately one-quarter of pregnant women in the UK smoke. Women who smoke in pregnancy are more likely to be younger, single, of lower educational achievement and in unskilled occupations. The male partner is more likely to smoke. Only one in four women who smoke succeed in stopping at some time during pregnancy. Almost two-thirds of women who succeed in stopping smoking in pregnancy restart again after the birth of their baby.[8] In December 1998, the Government set a target to reduce the percentage of women who smoked during pregnancy from 23% to 15% by the year 2010, with a fall to 18% by 2005.[9] This will mean approximately 55,000 fewer women in England who smoke during pregnancy.

Foetal growth and birth weight

Babies born to women who smoke are on average 200 grams (8 ozs) lighter than babies born to comparable non-smoking mothers. Furthermore, the more cigarettes a woman smokes during pregnancy, the greater the probable reduction in birth weight. Low birth weight is associated with higher risks of death and disease in infancy and early childhood. The adverse effects of smoking in pregnancy are due mainly to smoking in the second and third trimesters. Therefore, if a woman stops smoking within the first three months of pregnancy, her risk of having a low‑weight baby will be similar to that of a non-smoker. 8

Spontaneous abortion

The rate of spontaneous abortion (miscarriage) is substantially higher in women who smoke. This is the case even when other factors have been taken into account.8

Other complications of pregnancy

On average, smokers have more complications of pregnancy and labour which can include bleeding during pregnancy, premature detachment of the placenta and premature rupture of the membranes.[10] Some studies have also revealed a link between smoking and ectopic pregnancy 10 and congenital defects in the offspring of smokers.[11]

Perinatal mortality

Perinatal mortality (defined as still‑birth or death of an infant within the first week of life) is increased by about one-third in babies of smokers. This is equivalent to approximately 420 deaths per year in England and Wales. The increased perinatal mortality in smoking mothers occurs particularly among manual socio-economic groups and in groups that are already at high risk of perinatal death, such as older mothers or those who have had a previous perinatal death. More than one-quarter of the risk of death due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (cot death) is attributable to maternal smoking (equivalent to 365 deaths per year in England and Wales).8

Passive smoking and pregnancy

Exposure by the mother to passive smoking has also been associated with lower birth weight, a higher risk of perinatal mortality and spontaneous abortion.[12]

Breast feeding

Research has shown that smoking cigarettes may contribute to inadequate breast milk production. In one study, fat concentrations were found to be lower in the milk from mothers who smoked and milk volumes were lower.[13]

Health and long‑term growth

Infants of parents who smoke are twice as likely to suffer from serious respiratory infection than the children of non-smokers. (See also Fact Sheet No. 8, Passive Smoking.) Smoking in pregnancy may also have implications for the long term physical growth and intellectual development of the child. It has been associated with a reduced height of children of smoking mothers as compared with non-smoking mothers, with lower attainments in reading and mathematics up to age 16 and even with the highest qualification achieved by the age of 23.[14] One study has demonstrated a link between maternal smoking during pregnancy and adult male crime.[15] There is also evidence that smoking interferes with women's hormonal balance during pregnancy and that this may have long-term consequences on the reproductive organs of her children.[16]

Smoking and cervical cancer

Epidemiological studies have found that women who smoke have up to four times higher risk of developing cervical cancer than non-smokers and that the risk increases with duration of smoking. Studies have demonstrated biochemical evidence that smoking is a causal factor in cervical cancer.[17][18]

Smoking and the menopause

The natural menopause occurs up to two years earlier in smokers. The likelihood of an earlier menopause is related to the number of cigarettes smoked, with those smoking more than ten cigarettes a day having an increased risk of an early menopause.[19] New research suggests that polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons found in tobacco smoke can trigger premature egg cell death which may in turn lead to earlier menopause. [20]


Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

22 Jul 2005, 02:50 #39

Quitting for pregnancy is a reason to start your quit. Staying off though is more comprehensive than this. There are many other benefits that go along with staying an ex-smoker that will stick with you throughout your entire life. To keep these benefits, always remember that the best way to improve "your" overall health and quality of life is to never take another puff!

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

10 Nov 2005, 20:56 #40

The idea of just quitting to get pregnant or having a baby can pose a risk after the baby is delivered. You can figure now that the risks are now gone, you quit for the important time period. But still keep in mind that even though you did your baby a favor by quitting, you really did yourself the bigger favor.
For not only did you reduce the risk to your baby, you reduced your risk of being sicker throughout your life and eventually dying prematurely--you increased your ability to be active with your baby, throughout his or her life, even when your baby becomes an adult. You increased the odds that you will be around to see your baby eventually have children of his or her own, and even then you can be an active participant in yet another generation, as opposed to an elderly person on oxygen who watches family events from the sidelines, if you can even go to see them at all.

Quitting for pregnancy is a reason to start your quit. Staying off though is more comprehensive than this. There are many other benefits that go along with staying an ex-smoker that will stick with you throughout your entire life. To keep these benefits, always remember that the best way to improve "your" overall health and quality of life is to never take another puff!