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Smoking during pregnancy can cause harm for generations

Published: Jan. 5, 2021 at 8:44 AM EST
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Nearly nine percent of pregnant women still smoke during their pregnancy. Now, scientists are finding the effects of this unhealthy habit may be worse, and more long-term, than they ever thought.

Everyone has heard smoking is bad for your health. But lighting up while pregnant may be more harmful than previously thought! In a new study, researchers found even a small amount of cigarettes during pregnancy can be serious.

“We found that just smoking a single cigarette a day during pregnancy doubles your risk of sudden unexpected infant death,” explained Tatiana M. Anderson, PhD, a neuroscientist at Seattle Children’s Research Institute.

An experiment in animals found smoking during pregnancy may even affect future generations. Scientists discovered that second-hand smoke not only damaged the lung development of fetuses, but also second-generation animals that had never been exposed to smoke. Other research has linked smoking during pregnancy to birth defects, asthma, bronchitis, ear infections, and pneumonia.

“It’s become more real to me that this is something that’s unacceptable and it’s something that we need to change,” shared John Kahan.

A change your children, and maybe even grandchildren, might thank you for one day.

Currently, the FDA is proposing 13 new warnings for cigarette packs and ads, which include two danger notices on the effects of smoking and children. One states: “Smoking during pregnancy stunts fetal growth” and the other reads: “Tobacco smoke can harm your children.”

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