Passive smoking can harm your unborn baby

March 10th, 2011 - 1:22 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Mar 10 (ANI): A new study, led by researchers at Nottingham University, has revealed that pregnant non-smokers who breathe in the second-hand smoke of other people are at an increased risk of delivering stillborn babies or babies with defects.

The study found passive smoking increased the risk of still birth by almost one-quarter (23 per cent) and was linked to a 13 per cent increased risk of congenital birth defects.

The findings underline the importance of discouraging expectant fathers from smoking around their pregnant partners and warning women of the potential dangers of second-hand smoke both pre-conception and during pregnancy.

Dr Jo Leonardi-Bee, of the UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies at the University, said: “Mothers’ smoking during pregnancy is well-recognised as carrying a range of serious health risks for the unborn baby including fetal mortality, low birth weight, premature birth and a range of serious birth defects such as cleft palate, club foot and heart problems.

“Since passive smoking involves exposure to the same range of tobacco toxins experienced by active smokers, albeit at lower levels, it is likely that coming into contact with second-hand smoke also increases the risk of some of all of these complications.”

The study is the first of its kind to draw together the results of research from around the world into the effects of second-hand smoking on pregnancy and to estimate the potential increased risks.

The study is published in the April edition of the journal Paediatrics. (ANI)

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