Why It Should Be Illegal for Pregnant Women to Smoke

Topics: Childbirth, Fetus, Infant Pages: 4 (1235 words) Published: November 14, 2010
Why it should be illegal for pregnant women to smoke cigarettes

When you smoke a cigarette your lungs can not defuse the oxygen your cells and tissue need to survive. Instead of having the oxygen, carbon dioxide builds up in your arteries. For babies, the chemicals that break down inside a developing fetus are, by far, worse than smoking after the bronchi and the arterioles have fully developed. Numerous chemicals present in cigarette smoke, for example carbon monoxide and nicotine, are toxic in nature. They progress through a pregnant woman’s bloodstream and into the baby’s umbilical cord, through the baby’s own blood stream and attach to all of the baby’s organs adversely affecting the development of the lungs, heart and brain in the fetus. Cigarette companies are now required to post a warning on all boxes of cigarettes stating that: “Smoking could cause birth defects and is harmful.” Smoking is extremely bad for your health. These are all reasons why it should be against the law for pregnant women to smoke cigarettes.

When a pregnant woman smokes, it diminishes the supply of oxygen the baby receives. The nicotine can result in the increased heart rate of the baby, due to the vasoconstriction as the body reacts to and even absorbs the nicotine. Nicotine diminishes the baby’s source of nutrients due to the amplified blood pressure in which the heart requires more oxygen and glucose. Cigarette smoking can augment the threat of a diverse range of complications related to pregnancy such as premature rupture of membranes, vaginal bleeding and premature placental detachment. Smoking also hinders the absorption of vitamins B and C and folic acid in pregnant mothers. Deficiency in folic acid can lead to flaws in the neural tube. Any difficulties in a birth diminish the odds that the newborn will be normal genetically. Many researchers have studied the effects on fetuses from nicotine and various forms of “smoking”. 1/19/2009 - In the US today,...

Cited: Page
http://health.howstuffworks.com/pregnancy-and-parenting/pregnancy/ issues/question551.htm
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