Secondhand Smoke Presents Significant Risk for Pregnant Women


A recent study was carried out by at Roswell Park Cancer Institute and the University of Buffalo was published by the journal Tobacco Control.

Prior to this study, evidence linking secondhand smoke exposure and pregnancy issues (such as miscarriage, stillbirth, and tubal ectopic pregnancy) had been limited. Now, the risks of secondhand smoke exposure are much more clear. This advance in medical understanding is in part to the study’s finding but also due to the comprehensiveness of the study.

The participants of the study came from a wide range of backgrounds so as to ensure that a comprehensive assessment of the effects of exposures could be achieved. Furthermore, the study considered not just exposure during pregnancy or reproductive years, but the lifetime exposure of a participant from childhood to adulthood.

According to the study’s lead investigator, Andrew Hyland:

“This study demonstrated that pregnancy outcomes can be correlated with secondhand smoking. Significantly, women who have never smoked but were exposed to secondhand smoke were at greater risk for fetal loss.”

The study has found that women with the highest levels of secondhand smoke exposure - although never having smoked themselves - showed a significantly greater chance of a negative pregnancy outcome, almost at the same odds as women who had smoked.

The new information offered by this study will hopefully be spread to public-health professions and others so that consequences of secondhand smoke will be further limited as more and more people become better informed and make the necessary changes so as to lower their risk.

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Posted on in Health News

Written by an OB/GYN with over 25 years experience in adolescent health care in Canada, West Indies, Europe and the US.