Secondhand Smoke and Children
Exposure to Secondhand Smoke May Lower Children's IQ
A study shows that children who are exposed to tobacco smoke in the home
may have lower IQs than their unexposed peers.
Environmental tobacco smoke has already been definitively linked to a number of medical problems in
children, including sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), colic, middle ear disease, worsening
of asthma symptoms, and other respiratory problems.
Smoking during pregnancy facts
- Tobacco smoking in pregnancy is dangerous for both mother and baby.
harmful chemicals from tobacco smoking are passed directly to the baby through
the mother's bloodstream.
- Effects of smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke
during pregnancy include increased risk of stillbirth and
increased risk of low birth weight, and an increased risk of premature delivery.
- Secondhand smoke also poses health risks for mother and baby.
- Babies exposed
to secondhand smoke in the home have a higher risk of
sudden infant death
- There is no safe limit for tobacco smoke exposure in
- Nicotine replacement products have not been studied in pregnant
How does smoking affect a pregnant woman and her baby?
Tobacco smoking affects both mother and baby and poses health risks to both.
Smoking during pregnancy puts the baby at risk for health problems during the
pregnancy and after the baby is born. Nicotine and all the harmful (and
cancer-causing) products inhaled from the tobacco enter the bloodstream of the
mother and are passed directly into the baby's circulation through the placenta.
Tobacco smoke contains over 7,000 harmful chemicals, over 70 of which are known
to be carcinogenic (cancer causing).
Some of the known health effects on the baby include:
- A decreased supply of oxygen available to the baby
- Increased risk of
miscarriage and stillbirth
- Increased risk of poor growth and low birth weight
- Increased risk of premature delivery
- Increase in the heart rate of the baby
- Increased risk of breathing problems in the baby
These risks to the baby increase with the number of cigarettes smoked during
pregnancy. Of course, tobacco smoking is also harmful to the mother, increasing
her risk of cancers, cardiovascular disease,
emphysema, and other conditions.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/8/2015