Tag Archives: pregnant women smokers

Neurodevelopment of Infants Born to Mothers Who Smoke

Research statistics gathered by a study lead by Professor George Wehby of the University of Iowa’s College of Public Health have revealed startling evidence about the neurodevelopment of babies of mothers that smoke during pregnancy, and these facts are much worse than expected.

The study’s female participants were from health clinics in the countries of Brazil, Chile, and Argentina. It included assessing 1,600 children.

Smoking Jeopardizes Infants’ Healthy Development

Trained physicians performed cognitive tests along with assessing the children’s basic neurological function and communication skills in their surveys.

They found a disturbing fact: that mothers of unborn children continue smoking during pregnancy are subjecting their babies to as much as a 40 percentage point increase in the probability of being at risk of developmental problems by the ages of three and twenty-four months.

Part of the reason for this high percentile is double-fold. Many of the mothers sampled were from a poor socioeconomic status. Mothers who are poor have been found to smoke in greater quantity and have less access to proper prenatal care.

The study also included additional controls that many other research studies did not, which refined the study’s accuracy. The full details of the study are available in: George L. Wehby, Kaitlin Prater, Ann Marie McCarthy, Eduardo E. Castilla, Jeffrey C. Murray, “The Impact of Maternal Smoking During Pregnancy on Early Child Neurodevelopment.” Journal of Human Capital 5:2 (Summer 2011).

FDA Warnings for Mothers Who Smoke

In 2005, 12 percent of pregnant women in the US still smoked while pregnant, thinking of foremost of themselves over their babies’ healthy development. An unborn baby is not protected from the dangerous chemicals a mother’s body absorbs from cigarette smoking.

The FDA’s new cigarette package labels include a warning on the dangers of second hand smoke to unborn children as one of their 9 new label designs in hopes to lower this statistic.

Reference: Kevin Stacey, kstacey@press.uchicago.edu
University of Chicago Press Journals, 773-834-0386

Tobacco-Free Pregnancy Program in Charleston

West Virginia health officials have launched a tobacco-free pregnancy initiative meant to stomp out smoking among pregnant women.

The seven-month media campaign, which was kicked off in November, includes television, radio, billboard and newspaper advertisements.

The campaign is called the “Power to quit is inside you.”

The aim is to encourage pregnant women to call the state’s tobacco “quitline,” which offers free smoking cessation coaching.

According to the state Health Statistics Center, more than 27 percent of West Virginia women smoked during pregnancy last year. That’s the highest rate in the nation.

Pregnant WomanThe state Division of Tobacco Prevention also plans to distribute fact sheets, brochures and posters to doctors’ offices across the state.

Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage, still births, and low-birth weight and premature babies.

Children born to mothers who smoke also are more likely to die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Source: AP

Kids Learn to Smoke From Mom

Children with mothers who smoke cigarettes are more likely to be regular marijuana users by early adulthood, a new study suggests.

Part of the link seems to be explained by the fact that children of smokers were more likely to have been rebellious and aggressive as teenagers, the Australian researchers note.

Past studies have found that children of smokers are more likely than their peers to take up the habit themselves; less is known about whether parents’ smoking and drinking habits are related to their children’s marijuana use.

Mom Pregnant and SmokingHowever, many people who use the drug first try it as a teenager, the authors note, and family environment is an important influence on teenagers’ behavior.

Lifestyle Habits Studied

To study the question, Dr Mohammad Reza Hayatbakhsh of the University of Queensland in Brisbane and associates used data from a project that began following a group of pregnant women in Brisbane between 1981 and 1983.

The women had completed questionnaires on their health and lifestyle habits – including smoking and drinking – while they were pregnant, and at several other points as their children grew up.

The researcher then evaluated nearly 3200 of these women’s offspring who were 21 years old, and had been followed since birth. The findings are published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

In general, the study found that children who were exposed to their mothers’ smoking as teenagers were twice as likely as their peers to be frequent marijuana users at age 21.

Children of Smokers also Smoke

The children of smokers were also more likely to start smoking cigarettes by age 14.

Further analysis found a relationship between maternal drinking and child marijuana, but further analysis indicated this relationship was not statistically significant.

Early smoking has been linked to a higher likelihood of marijuana use, explained lead study author Hayatbakhsh told Reuters Health.

A “simple message” from these results is that young people’s substance abuse is often a “consequence of the learning process.”

“Children who are exposed to parents’ smoking cigarettes may learn this behaviour.”

“In other words,” Hayatbakhsh said, “parents…who continue to smoke cigarettes during the development of the child not only put themselves at risk of health problems, but also may play as a role model for the children who live with them.”

– (Amy Norton/Reuters Health)

SOURCE: American Journal of Epidemiology, September 1, 2007.

Dangers of Secondhand Smoke Around Children

Myth: Children aren’t affected by secondhand smoke.

It’s okay to smoke in the presence of your kids so long as you don’t blow the smoke in their face and open a window.

The same goes for smoking around your pregnant partner, or a pregnant friend.

Have you ever heard this rationalization for smoking around expecting mothers, infants, and small children?

If you have here are some eye opening facts!

Truth About Smoking Around Children

child.jpgExposing a child to secondhand smoke is a form of child abuse.

Although secondhand smoke is dangerous to everyone who comes in contact with it, fetuses, infants, and children are at greatest risk.

This is because secondhand smoke can damage developing organs, such as lungs and brain.

Please think twice before smoking in the presence of an expecting mother, or around children.

Mother’s Who Smoke Subject Babies to Higher Systolic Blood Pressure

There was a study that took place in the Netherlands.

This study was of 456 infants.

It showed that, by age 2 months, babies born to mothers who smoked had higher systolic blood pressures as compared to those whose mothers didn’t smoke.

Those babies of non-smokers weren’t exposed to smoke during pregnancy.

Picture of Baby Our findings indicate maternal smoking during pregnancy has a direct substantial impact on systolic blood pressure in early infancy.

This is yet another reason for women not to smoke during pregnancy, said Caroline C. Geerts, lead author of the study and a doctoral student at Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care at the University Medical Center Utrecht in The Netherlands.

“This association appears to occur in utero and doesn’t appear to be due to the postnatal environment of the infant.”

Learn more about > Maternal Smoking

~American Heart Assoc. Journal Report 7/30/2007

Maternal Smoking Increases Risk of Stillbirths

If all pregnant women in the United States stopped smoking, stillbirths would be reduced by 11 percent and newborn deaths would be reduced by 5 percent.

This smoking statistic is according to the U.S. Public Health Service.

Cigarette smoking not only passes nicotine on to the growing fetus, it also prevents up to 25 percent of the oxygen from reaching the placenta.

With less oxygen, the baby may grow more slowly than normal, resulting in low birth weight.

~Genesee County Health Department, Michigan

Click to learn more about > Stillbirths

Will the Cycle Be Broken

…be unbroken…

Oh how I pray it will be broken!

To understand my meaning, you need to know a little about me. Who I am, where I am, why I am here.

I’m a 50-something grandmother who finally found a way to overcome this addiction a year and 8 weeks ago.

Growing up, it wasn’t a question of if you would start smoking, but when. The same was true for my mom. I have a picture of her when she was maybe 15 or 16 eating an apple and smoking a sickarette.

She smoked when she was pregnant with me. So when I took my first puff of a sickarette, even though it didn’t taste good and I had to make my body accept the smoke into my lungs…it felt like home.

It had been part of my experience before I ever had a choice in what kinds of things I wanted to experience. My mom smoked around us kids all the time we were growing up, as did our dad and step dad and just about every “cool” person in our world.

Woman SittingMom died when I was 10-ish. She’d been in the hospital for 3 and a half years, and weighed in at about 82 lbs when the cancer finally ended her suffering and claimed her life…

I grew up in foster homes a very confused and emotionally devastated person. Eventually I had kids of my own, and like my mother I smoked while I was pregnant and I smoked around my kids.

Like her, I also became a single mom and, like her, I allowed people to smoke around my kids as a matter of course.

Today I’m in Texas. I’m here because my middle daughter has given birth to my 4th grandbaby. She’s a beautiful and, thankfully, healthy little girl – and she’ll probably smoke when she grows up. My daughter, like her mother, and her mother before her, smoked while she was pregnant.

I prayed so hard when we found out that she was pregnant that our daughter would emulate her big sister. At least my eldest found a way to quit while pregnant, even though she started smoking again after the baby was finished breast feeding. And she doesn’t allow anybody to smoke in the house or car, or in the presence of her children.

She keeps trying to quit… at least she knows it’s important to keep trying. But my middle daughter isn’t there yet. And I don’t know what to do to help her.

I showed both my middle and my youngest daughters the Barb Tarbox video – yes, it’s made a difference. The youngest, who is still single and not yet a mom, is quitting. She’s beginning Week 2 and is using the patch to give her the extra strength to ride out the craves. She’s doing well and I’m proud that she made this decision.

We had a lot of destructive cycles to end, a lot of “life lessons” to learn. I believe I’ve helped the girls learn enough to end the cycle of domestic abuse once and for all.

My mom got beat up a lot by her husbands. There’s no sense in that, and there isn’t a woman in the world who has to put up with that. I think the girls have learned that – their behavior says they have.

So how do I help them beat this addiction, and quit passing it along to the future generations in our family?

~Garek

Dangers of 69 Cancer Causing Chemicals in Cigarettes to Men, Women and Unborn Babies

There are 69 known cancer-causing chemicals in tobacco smoke.

While nicotine itself isn’t thought to be carcinogenic, it’s the reason why smokers continue the habit.

This highly addictive drug is toxic and potentially lethal in large doses.

Apart from its use in tobacco products, nicotine is a scheduled poison under the State Poisons Act. When they get their dose of nicotine, smokers also inhale about 4,000 other chemicals.

Most of these compounds are chemically active, and trigger profound and damaging changes in the body.

Tobacco smoke contains dangerous chemicals. The most damaging compounds in tobacco smoke include:

Picture of a smoker1,3-butadiene – or BDE is an industrial chemical used in rubber manufacture. Some scientists believe that of all the chemicals in tobacco smoke, BDE may present the greatest overall cancer risk. It may not be as good at causing cancer as some of the other chemicals listed here, but it is found in large amounts in tobacco smoke.

Ammonia – ammonia is a strong chemical, found in household cleaners and formaldehyde (used for preserving organs of dead people in morgues), which also damages the lungs.

Arsenic – is one of the most dangerous chemicals in cigarettes. It can cause cancer as well as damaging the heart and its blood vessels. Small amounts of arsenic can accumulate in smokers’ bodies and build up to higher concentrations over months and years. As well as any direct effects, it can worsen the effect of other chemicals by interfering with our ability to repair our DNA.

Acrolein – is a gas with an intensely irritating smell and is one of the most abundant chemicals in cigarette smoke. It belongs to the same group of chemicals as formaldehyde and acetaldehyde, both of which can cause cancer.

Benzene – is a solvent used to manufacture other chemicals, including petrol. It is well-established that benzene can cause cancer, particularly leukemia. It could account for between a tenth and a half of the deaths from leukemia caused by smoking.

Cadmium – is a metal used mostly to make batteries. The majority of cadmium in our bodies comes from exposure to tobacco smoke. Smokers can have twice as much cadmium in their blood as non-smokers.

Carbon monoxide – this odor less gas is fatal in large doses because it takes the place of oxygen in the blood. Each red blood cell contains a complicated protein called hemoglobin; oxygen molecules are transported around the body by binding to, or hanging onto, this protein. However, carbon monoxide has an even greater affinity for binding to hemoglobin than does oxygen. This means that the heart of a smoker has to work much harder to get enough oxygen to the brain, heart, muscles and other organs.

Formaldehyde – is a smelly chemical used to kill bacteria, preserve dead bodies and manufacture other chemicals. It is one of the substances in tobacco smoke most likely to cause diseases in our lungs and airways.

Hydrogen cyanide – the lungs contain tiny hairs (cilia) that help to ‘clean’ the lungs by moving foreign substances out. Hydrogen cyanide stops this lung clearance system from working properly, which means the poisonous ingredients of tobacco smoke are allowed to remain inside the lungs.

Metals – tobacco smoke contains dangerous metals including arsenic, cadmium and lead. Many of these metals are carcinogenic.

Nitrogen oxides – animal experiments have shown that nitrogen oxides damage the lungs. It is thought that nitrogen oxides are some of the particular chemicals in tobacco smoke that cause the lung disease emphysema.

Polonium-210 – is a rare, radioactive element and polonium-210 is its most common form. Polonium strongly emits a very damaging type of radiation called alpha-radiation that can usually be blocked by thin layers of skin. But tobacco smoke contains traces of polonium, which become deposited inside their airways and deliver radiation directly to surrounding cells.

Chemical properties of polonium-210

Radioactive compounds – tobacco smoke contains radioactive compounds, which are known to be carcinogenic.

Tar – this is the collective term for all the various particles suspended in tobacco smoke. The particles contain chemicals including nitrogen oxides, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. Tar is sticky and brown, and stains teeth, fingernails and lung tissue. Tar contains the carcinogen benzo(a)pyrene that is known to trigger tumour development (cancer).

Smoking Effects on the Respiratory system

The effects of tobacco smoke on the respiratory system include:
–Irritation of the trachea (windpipe) and larynx (voice box).
–Reduced lung function and breathlessness due to swelling and narrowing of the lung airways and excess mucus in the lung passages.
–Inability of the lungs to cough out and clear poisonous substances, which results in lung irritation and damage.

Smoking and the Circulatory system

The effects of tobacco smoke on the circulatory system include:
–Raised blood pressure and heart rate.
–Constriction (tightening) of blood vessels in the skin, resulting in a drop in skin temperature.
–Less blood, which carries oxygen, available to the body.
–Stickier blood, which is more prone to clotting.
–Damage to the lining of the arteries, which is thought to be a
contributing factor to atherosclerosis (the build-up of fatty deposits on the artery walls).
–Increased risk of stroke and heart attack due to blockages of the blood supply.

Cigarettes Effects on the Immune system

The effects of tobacco smoke on the immune system include:
–The immune system doesn’t work as well.
–The person is more prone to infections.
–It takes longer to get over an illness.

Smoking Addiction Dangers to Musculoskeletal System

The effects of tobacco smoke on the musculoskeletal system include:
–Reduced blood flow to extremities like fingers and toes
–Tightening of the muscles
–Reduced bone density.

Other Effects Of Smoking On the Body

Other effects of tobacco smoke on the body include:
–Irritation and inflammation of the stomach and intestines
–Increased risk of bleeding ulcers along the digestive tract
–Reduced ability to smell and taste
–Premature wrinkling of the skin
–Higher risk of blindness and hearing loss
–Gum disease.

Smoking and The Male Body

The specific effects of tobacco smoke on the male body include:
–Lower sperm count
–Higher percentage of deformed sperm
–Reduced sperm mobility
–Lower sex drive
–Reduced levels of male sex hormones
–Impotence, caused by reduced blood flow to the penis
–Increased risk of reproductive system cancers, including penile cancer.

Smoking Effects on the Female Body

The specific effects of tobacco smoke on the female body include:
–Reduced fertility.
–Lower sex drive.
–Reduced levels of female sex hormones.
–Menstrual cycle irregularities or absence of menstruation.
–Menopause reached one or two years earlier.
–Increased risk of reproductive system cancers, including cancers of the cervix, vulva and breast.
–Greatly increased risk of stroke and heart attack if the smoker is aged over 35 years and taking the oral contraceptive pill.
–Can increase facial hair.
–Can lead to depression.

Smoking Dangers to the Unborn Baby

The effects of maternal smoking on the unborn baby include:
–Increased risk of miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth.
–Low birth weight.
–Increased risk of cleft palate and cleft lip.
–Greater risk of developmental problems, such as attention deficit
hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
–Paternal smoking can also harm the fetus if the non-smoking mother is exposed to passive smoking.

If the mother continues to smoke during her baby’s first year of life, the child has an increased risk of ear infections, respiratory illnesses such as asthma, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and childhood cancers such as acute lymphocytic leukaemia.

Diseases Caused by Long Term Smoking

A lifetime smoker is at high risk of developing a range of potentially
lethal diseases, including:
All types of cancer, such as cancer of the lung, mouth, nose, throat,
pancreas, blood, kidney, penis, cervix, bladder and anus. Lung diseases such as chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and emphysema. Coronary artery disease, heart disease and heart attack. Ulcers of the digestive system. Osteoporosis. Poor blood circulation in extremities, which can lead to amputation.

Things to Remember

Most of the 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke are chemically active and
trigger profound and potentially fatal changes in the body.

The most damaging substances in tobacco smoke include tar, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrogen cyanide, metals, ammonia and radioactive compounds.

Sources: Surgeon General, U.S
National Center For Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
UK’s “Smoke is Poison” campaign, funded by the Department of Health.