Smoking During Pregnancy


Smoking is a sure way to damage a child’s life even before that child is born; yet it remains the single most preventable cause of illness and death among mothers and infants.

Smoking can cause problems with the placenta, the source of the baby’s nutrition and oxygen during pregnancy.  Fetal death rates are 35% higher among pregnant women who smoke.  And, smoking can even make getting pregnant more difficult: Women who smoke have approximately 30% higher odds of being infertile.

The baby of a smoker suffers increased risk of severe negative effects at every stage of development, including:

  • Miscarriage
  • Premature birth
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Brain damage while in the womb
  • Growth retardation
  • Childhood obesity
  • Abnormal blood pressure
  • Cleft palate
  • Potentially cancer-causing genetic mutations
  • Childhood leukemia
  • Colic
  • Respiratory disorders
  • Eye problems
  • Mental retardation
  • ADD
  • Ear infections, coughs and colds, allergies, asthma and lung problems

Additional Resources