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Effects of Second Hand Smoke During Pregnancy

The current second hand smoke statistics

Effects of second hand smoke during pregnancy Smoking is currently the leading cause of death due to pulmonary problems. Conditions which affect the respiratory system are mainly caused by second hand smoking. This is the passive way of ingesting cigarette smoke through inhalation. Pregnant mothers who are currently affected due to secondhand smoke are affected of congenital defects. Approximately 78% of pregnant women who are exposed to smoking deliver a baby with congenital defect. 35% from it affects the respiratory system of the baby. An alarming 82% of pregnant mother who smokes during pregnancy harms the health status of the baby as well as themselves.

The risk of passive smoking

There are several research investigations that show genetic mutation related to the blood in the cord of newborns is significant. An examination of data gathered from the previous studies state that pregnant women who are exposed to passive smoking can cause more harm to their developing fetus. The fetus which serves as the primary recipient for exposure via maternal smoking is a second hand smoke facts which is intensively prohibited by the Public Health Organization (PHO).

In the study made by the BMC Pediatrics, they believe that both secondary exposure and maternal smoking has an increasing rate of suffering from genetic mutation. This data states that not only maternal smoking can cause problems with the genetic makeup of the growing fetus but second hand smoking has the same effect with active smoking. The effects of passive type of smoking can alter the birth weight, survival, and risk to congenital malformations and diseases including cancer are highly significant. This second hand smoke fact is very crucial for the information dissemination of the PHO among pregnant women who are currently smoking or exposed to cigarette smoking.

The second hand smoke effects to baby

If a pregnant women continues to smoke despite of all regimen and ways to prevent smoking can cause serious problem to their baby’s condition. Smoking during pregnancy or exposure to nicotine will affect the baby’s condition before, during and after the delivery of the baby. The nicotine is considered as a very addicting substance that has carbon monoxide and other dangerous substances. This is commonly present in cigarette. Once the pregnant mother is exposed to secondhand smoke, their baby will most likely to suffer from:

  • Efficient amount of oxygen supply that affects the demand of the developing fetus;
  • Increasing fetal heart rate;
  • High prevalence of stillbirth or miscarriage;
  • Increasing risk of the fetus from premature delivery with low birth weight (minimal chance of survival);
  • Lung problems such as (pneumonia)


Facts about sidestream smoke

Other alarming second hand smoke facts involve the quantity of nicotine that the pregnant women have ingested. Although it can’t be measured but the frequency and duration of exposure can determine the chances of having this malformation and other fetal problems. As a matter of fact, nicotine is never been considered as a healthy substance for pregnant mother. Even the slightest amount of it can greatly affect the condition of the mother and her unborn baby.

Exposure to smoking is very harmful. Once the cigarette is lighted, the smoke coming out from it contains carbon monoxide, tar, nicotine, and other harmful substance. If the pregnant mother inhales these substances they will also suffer from respiratory problems. Take note that secondhand smoking is more dangerous than primary smoking. The effect of the harmful and toxic substances is doubled.

The baby’s risk for developing lung cancer is very significant. Most especially if the mother who is on the first trimester is exposed to these substances. During the first trimester, the baby’s organ starts to develop. Imagine the effect of nicotine that accumulates to the blood and passes through the placenta wherein the baby’s life depends on. What will be the pressing effect to the baby? Of course, the most detrimental effect that can alter the health condition of the baby is organ problems. One of the most common effects of secondhand smoke to developing babies is sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS.

The cardiac system of the baby will be affected as well. This can lead to congenital heart defect such as congenital heart failure. The nicotine can also affect the renal system of the baby which will lead to congenital renal failure. If the mother failed to prevent themselves from nicotine exposure, the baby’s survival is decreasing.

Special programs to prevent smoking during pregnancy

There are several programs that can help a smoking mother to stop this unhealthy activity. This includes:

  • Throw or give you cigarettes, ashtrays, matches and lighters to someone and let them hide it;
  • As much as possible, limit your caffeine intake. Caffeine can actually stimulate you to smoke. Avoid drinking alcohol because it has the same effect with nicotine;
  • Modify your lifestyle which is related to smoking. Find means on how to divert your thoughts of smoking. If stress caused you to smoke, you need to find a healthy way or outlet to relieve your stress;
  • Use gums or mints whenever you will have the urge to smoke;
  • Do exercises and other activities to divert your attention to smoking;
  • Look for support group and share experiences with each other related to smoking cessation.