Study reveals that Smoking during pregnancy increases birth defects

July 13th, 2011 - 9:57 pm ICT by Aishwarya Bhatt  

London, July 13 (THAINDIAN NEWS) British scientists have finally come up with the evidence that supports the long-held view that pregnant women should not smoke. In a new study which was published in the journal Human Reproduction Update, scientists found that smoking during pregnancy affects the physical development of the fetus.

Researchers from University College London conducted the study using data collected over a period of half a century. The researchers during their study examined about 174,000 cases of baby deformations over the period.

The researchers say the findings of the study finally give health officials the ammunition that they need to warn against smoking while pregnant. According to data from the 14th World Conference on Tobacco or Health which was held in the Indian city of Mumbai in 2009, about 250 million women worldwide light up a cigarette each day.

Senior vice president for research and global programs of the March of Dimes Michael Katz admitted that the findings of the study might not be enough to get some women from quitting their smoking habit because of the power of addiction.

The researchers found that smoking increases the risk of cleft palate, clubfoot, heart defects, skull defects, deformed limbs and gastrointestinal defects in the fetus.

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