Planning or expectant parents

Info for planning or expecting parents:

How smoking hurts people
hoping to become parents

  • Smoking reduces a woman’s chance of getting pregnant. Chemicals in smoke interfere with the functioning of the tubes that a woman’s eggs travel through to reach the womb. This might decrease fertility or lead to pregnancy complications.
  • Researchers have also found that smoking might damage the DNA in men’s sperm which may decrease fertility, cause birth defects or lead to miscarriage.

How smoking hurts
unborn babies

  • Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of pregnancy complications, premature delivery, low birth weight infants, stillbirth, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
  • Tobacco smoke damages the tissue of an unborn baby’s growing brain and lungs.
  • Smoking during pregnancy can cause problems with the growth of the placenta, as well. These problems could lead to miscarriage, premature delivery or low birth weight.

Secondhand smoke is harmful
to babies and children

  • Babies who breathe secondhand smoke are more likely to die from SIDS.
  • The lungs of babies who breathe secondhand smoke don’t work as well as the lungs of babies who are always in a smoke free environment.
  • More than 300,000 children suffer each year from infections caused by tobacco smoke, including bronchitis, pneumonia and ear infections.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. A Report of the Surgeon General: How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: What It Means to You. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2010 [accessed 2012 May 10].