Smoking during Pregnancy
Arsenic, rocket fuel, toilet cleaner, lighter fluid, and batteries; what if this were the newest baby food? American’s would be in outcry and rightly so. These ingredients are all poisonous, yet they aren’t just found in rat poison and household cleaners, they are found in cigarettes. Despite this 10% of women will smoke cigarettes regularly throughout their pregnancies even though they have full knowledge of the consequences (“Program”). The children of these mother’s are exposed to over 4000 chemicals before they are even born (“Neurobehavior”). While some may believe that smoking during pregnancy is a women’s right, in reality it is child abuse due to the mother knowingly putting her child in danger. Due to the severe health risks smoking cigarettes during pregnancy puts mother and child in, it should be outlawed and strict consequences put into place in order to protect America’s children. Exposure to cigarette smoke during pregnancy has been identified as the largest modifiable risk factor for children in developed countries. These babies are likely to have many complications during birth and throughout their lives (“Neurobehavior”). Although a mother’s tobacco use can greatly reduce a child’s quality of life, it also increases their risk of being stillborn. If all American women did not smoke during pregnancy there would be an estimated 11% reduction in stillbirths as well as a 5% reduction in newborn deaths (“Smoking during Pregnancy”). Women who smoke during their pregnancy increase their child’s likelihood of having a low birth rate by almost 50%; this is extremely alarming as 65% of deaths in the USA occur among infants who have low birth weights (Pediatrics). The death rate of infants of smoking mothers is very high, it’s nearly double that of non-smokers (Rindfliesh, Terry). Not only does smoking during pregnancy put the baby’s life in jeopardy it also is a contributing factor to many medical complications for the...
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