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Smoking and Tobacco

Effects on pregnant teens and their fetus.

12/07/2000

Question:

What happens when a pregnant teen smokes?

Answer:

The effects of cigarette smoking during pregnancy have been identified for about 50 years. Complications in pregnancy related to smoking include reduced birthweight of the baby. This might be related to carbon monoxide from mother`s smoking or nicotine narrowing the blood vessel supplying oxygen to the baby. Other complications of smoking are bleeding during pregnancy, spontaneous abortion, and preterm delivery. (See the 1990 Surgeon General`s Health Benefits of Smoking Cessation). Women who stopped smoking during their pregnancy delivered babies that weighed more than mothers who continued to smoke during pregnancy. A lower birthweight or slower fetal growth is an important factor in the infant`s health.

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Response by:

Karen L Ahijevych, PhD, RN, FAAN Karen L Ahijevych, PhD, RN, FAAN
Professor Emeritus
College of Public Health
College of Nursing
The Ohio State University