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Smoking Affects Your Pregnancy and Your Children

Smoke?  You may have a harder time getting pregnant and be more likely to miscarry than non-smoking women.1

Smoking while pregnant:

  • Affects the placenta—the source of your baby’s food and oxygen during pregnancy
  • Lowers the amount of oxygen available to you and your growing baby
  • Increases:
    • Your baby's heart rate
    • The risk that your baby will be born prematurely
    • The risk that your baby will be born with low birth weight
    • Your baby's risk of developing respiratory problems
    • The chances of stillbirth
    • The risk for certain birth defects like a cleft lip or cleft palate
    • The risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)2

Pregnant women exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely to have low-birth weight babies.3

Babies exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely to:

Children exposed to secondhand smoke can also have serious health problems, including:

  • Frequent lower respiratory illness
  • Wheezing and coughing
  • More frequent and severe asthma attacks
  • Ear infections7


  1. http://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/TobaccoUsePregnancy
  2. http://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/TobaccoUsePregnancy
  3. http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/secondhand_smoke/health_effects
  4. http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/reports/smokeexposure
  5. http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/reports/secondhandsmoke/factsheet2.html
  6. http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/reports/smokeexposure
  7. http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/reports/smokeexposure