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Facts About Smoking and Pregnancy

Facts About Smoking and Pregnancy

  • Between 12 and 20 percent of all pregnant women smoke.1
  • Rates of smoking during pregnancy are at least 12 times higher among women with nine to 11 years of education (25 percent) than among women who hold a college degree (two percent).2
  • Smoking during pregnancy has been linked to 10 percent of all infant deaths.3
  • Smoking during pregnancy may impair normal fetal brain and nervous system development.4
  • The direct medical costs of a complicated birth are 66 percent higher for smokers than for non-smokers, reflecting the greater severity of complications and the more intensive care that is required.5
  • Reducing smoking prevalence by one percentage point would prevent 1,300 low birth-weight babies and save $21 million in direct medical costs in the first year. Over a seven year period, this means the prevention of 57,200 low birth-weight babies and savings of $572 million in direct medical costs.6
  • Babies whose mothers smoked during their pregnancy are more likely to die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome than those whose mothers did not smoke.7
  • Women who smoke can have a difficult time becoming pregnant.8
  • Parents who smoke make their children more vulnerable to respiratory illness, middle ear infections, and impaired lung function.9
  • 27 percent of U.S. children aged 6 years and under live with a parent or other family member who smokes; the annual direct medical costs associated with this exposure to parental smoking is estimated at $4.6 billion.10

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1 Martin JA, Hamilton BE, Ventura SJ, Menacker F and Park MM. (2001) Births: Final data for 2000. National Vital Statistics Reports, 50(5), 11-12.

2 Ibid

3 Women and smoking: A report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, MD: U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Office of the Surgeon General; Washington, DC, 2001, p 296.

4 Dempsey DA and Benowitz NL. Risks and benefits of nicotine to aid smoking cessation in pregnancy (review article), Drug Safety 2001 24(4):277-322

5 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (1997). Medical-care expenditures attributable to cigarette smoking during pregnancy —United States, 1995. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 46(44), 1048-1050.

6 Aligne CA, Stoddard JJ. Tobacco and Children: An Economic Evaluation of the Medical Effects of Parental Smoking. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine 151:648-53 (July 1997)

7 Women and smoking: A report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, MD: U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Office of the Surgeon General; Washington, DC, 2001, p 307.

8 Ibid, p.307

9 On wheezing and respiratory problems, see e.g., Hu FB, et al., Prevalence of asthma and wheezing in public schoolchildren: association with maternal smoking during pregnancy, Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology 79(1): 80-84 (July 1997); Tager IB, et al., "Maternal smoking during pregnancy: effects on lung function during the first 18 months of life, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 152(3);977-83 (September 1995); Lux AL, et al., Wheeze associated with prenatal tobacco smoke exposure: a prospective, longitudinal study, Archives of Disease in Childhood 83:307-12 (October 2000)

10 Aligne CA, Stoddard JJ. Tobacco and Children: An Economic Evaluation of the Medical Effects of Parental Smoking. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine 151:648-53 (July 1997)

 
 
  
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