Smoking in pregnancy: Smoking in pregnancy: 3 out of 100 women are unable to quit

Pregnancy is a great time to quit smoking. After doing this you will feel better about your health, with yourself, and you will have more energy to live your pregnancy in serenity and health. You’ll also reduce your baby’s risk of future health problems, such as heart disease, cancer, and other lung problems.

Several scientific studies have confirmed that the mother’s smoking during pregnancy is one of the main causes of spontaneous abortion and premature birth, as well as an increase in perinatal and infant mortality and morbidity. Additionally, smoking during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome, low birth weight, and neonatal nicotine withdrawal syndrome.

Problems caused by smoking that can continue to affect your child even after giving birth include impaired cognition, an increased risk of respiratory infections and asthma.

Furthermore, it has also emerged that mothers who smoke have less milk (and of lower quality) than those who do not smoke.

There are so many reasons to quit smoking, therefore, but this doesn’t mean it’s an easy choice to carry out, especially with the stress that often accompanies pregnancy. And that’s why 3 out of 100 women can’t quit.

The effect of cigarette smoke

When you smoke, you inhale poisons such as nicotine, lead, arsenic and carbon monoxide.

These poisons enter the placenta and prevent the fetus from getting the adequate supply of nutrients and oxygen it needs to grow.

According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services ,

  • women who smoke during pregnancy are more likely than other women to have a miscarriage,
  • Smoking can cause problems with the placenta: The placenta can separate too soon from the uterus, causing life-threatening bleeding for both mother and baby.
  • smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of premature birth or low birth weight
  • smoking during and after pregnancy is a risk factor for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (also known as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or Unexpected Infant Death Syndrome or Crib Death Syndrome )
  • babies born to women who smoke are more likely to have certain birth defects, such as cleft lip or cleft palate

If you’re reading this article and you’re not pregnant yet, but you’re planning a baby, also know that smoking when you’re trying to conceive reduces the likelihood of getting pregnant.

The effect of secondhand smoke

Secondhand smoke can also cause problems for the fetus.

Recent studies have shown that if a woman is exposed to secondhand smoke during pregnancy she has a greater chance of having a baby who weighs too little at birth and may have health problems.

Fortunately, the legislative bans introduced in recent years in our country and in most European countries have had a significant impact not only on smoking, but also culturally more generally: according to a survey by Daxa, only 3.8 % of non-smokers said they traveled by car with a smoker who smoked in the passenger compartment in the presence of children or pregnant women and only one Italian out of 10 allows their smoking guests to light a cigarette at home.

The effect of hand smoke on infants

Thirdhand smoke is the contamination that occurs from cigarette smoke; it is the smoke that deposits on curtains, carpets, furniture, furnishings and clothing. These toxins build up over time, one cigarette at a time.

Thirdhand smoke is less perceptible than secondhand smoke, but has equally serious effects. Also, because the brains of babies and toddlers are still developing, they are much more susceptible to any level of toxins.

Thirdhand smoke can also cause serious problems for babies and young children. Recent third-hand studies link it to an increased risk of asthma, breathing problems, learning disabilities and cancer in infants and young children.

Researches carried out in Italy have shown that 52% of children in the second year of life are habitually exposed to secondhand smoke.

And because young children are often in closer proximity to surfaces that absorb these layers of toxins (and are also more likely to put their mouths on room surfaces) this makes these contaminated surfaces more dangerous to them than adults.

Pregnant women and children should try to stay away from any place that smokes or has been smoked.

Nicotine replacement therapy

While nicotine replacement therapy in pregnancy is still dangerous, it would be less so than cigarettes, which expose both the mother and the fetus to both nicotine and a host of other toxic substances.

If you just can’t give up nicotine and are considering replacement therapy before doing so, you should discuss this with your doctor.

How to quit smoking

  • Make a list of all the reasons and benefits of quitting, for you and your baby. Also remember that if you stop, the amount of nutrients and oxygen your baby will receive increases. Remember that for you, quitting smoking reduces the risk of future health problems such as heart disease, cancer and lung problems. gives you more energy and saves you money;
  • change your daily habits. After meals, instead of smoking, introduce a new routine such as going for a walk, reading a book, or drinking herbal tea;
  • Create a circle of people who support you. Trying to quit smoking is hard, and having a friend or family member to call when you’re on the verge of smoking can make a real difference. It’s also helpful to surround yourself with people who don’t smoke or who have also quit smoking.
  • Give yourself a goal. Write on the calendar the date when you will throw away all cigarettes, lighters and ashtrays and get ready to celebrate it with friends.

Cannabis in pregnancy

There is evidence to suggest that cannabis use during pregnancy may increase the chance of having a premature and/or low birth weight baby and may also affect the baby’s long-term learning and behavior.


Quitting smoking will help you feel better and provide a healthier environment for your baby.

When you quit smoking:

  • the fetus receives more oxygen
  • there is less risk that your baby will be born too soon.
  • reduce your risk of developing heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, chronic lung disease, and other smoking-related diseases
  • you will have more energy
  • your clothes, your hair and your home will smell better.
  • your food will taste better.
  • you will have more money that you can spend on other things.
  • you will feel good about what you did for you and your baby.

Smoking after pregnancy

Smoking during and after pregnancy also increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) .

Katherine Johnson, M.D., is a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist with clinical expertise in general obstetrics and gynecology, family planning, women’s health, and gynecology.

She is affiliated with the Obstetrics and Gynecology division at an undisclosed healthcare institution and the online platform,

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