Impacts of Smoking during Pregnancy essay

Impactsof Smoking during Pregnancy

Impactsof Smoking during Pregnancy

Tobaccouse is a behavior exhibited by a huge population. In the UnitedStates alone, 16.8% of all adults smoke cigarettes [ CITATION Cen16 l 1033 ].This use accounts for quite a significant number of people exposed tothe effects associated with the practice. The Prenatal period in awoman’s life when all adverse factors must be put on a check. Dueto this cause that a lot of studies have been done to elaboratefurther on the impacts of smoking to the mother and also the unbornchild. Despite the ongoing warnings and awareness concerning tobacco,still quite a considerable number of pregnant women continue doingso. Apparently, there are different reasons behind the currentpractice despite the fact that people possess the informationregarding tobacco use. Due to this phenomenon, a question arises asto whether cigarette smoking during gestation has hostile outcomes.This paper looks into this issue and argues against smoking duringpregnancy to persuade the readers to avoid or quit smoking especiallyduring pregnancy.

Effectsof Smoking

Theimpacts of tobacco use and pregnancy can be viewed in twoperspectives. The first encompasses the influence on the unborn babyduring and after the pregnancy period while the other focusses on theeffects on the mother herself. A consistent number of reliablestudies have indicated that tobacco smoking is a vital factor inpregnancy complications among pregnant smokers. Ideally, women areadvised not to engage in smoking before, during and after givingbirth. These difficulties range from premature rupture of thereproductive system membranes, placental abruption, and placentaprevia. These health conditions in the reproductive system areassociated with miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birthsestimated at approximately 1% higher in smokers [ CITATION Cen151 l 1033 ].In addition to these outcomes, the pregnant women are also exposed torisks that are experienced by all smokers. They includepredisposition to the development of lung cancer and the increasedchance of developing cardiovascular diseases such as high bloodpressure.

Effectson the baby can be divided into two categories: those that are feltduring pregnancy and those that occur after parturition. The mainproblems related to smoking include a low birth weight of the baby.This reduced weight is a risk factor for the development of diseasessuch as cerebral palsy and mental retardation. Another effect is thesudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) which is characterized by anabrupt death of the baby without any conclusive explanations. Therate of SIDS is three times higher in pregnant women who smoke thanin non-smokers. Other possible birth defects may arise about smokingbehavior such as distorted brain development, lung structure, andmental issues [ CITATION Cen151 l 1033 ].

Misconceptionsabout smoking

Someof the highly contentious statements made by women who smoke arebased on the argument that countless women have smoked before andduring pregnancy, yet they still gave birth to healthy babies. Thisbelief is true since there are those who have experienced the same.However, while smoking doesn’t always produce the effectsinstantly, every time a woman smokes she exposes the baby to healthrisks which might be felt later or on or in the following pregnancies[ CITATION Sim16 l 1033 ].Additionally, the lack of significant health implications in somecases does not necessarily mean that it won’t happen to you. Thereare inherent factors that could have inhibited the development ofproblems which is not the same to everyone.

Therehave been sentiments from consistent smokers that the act relaxes orcalms them. This experience could be translated to a state ofaddiction whereby the withdrawal symptoms lead to discomfort whilesmoking tends to restore the normal physiology. Although therelaxation feels good, the actual events happening within the bodyare quite significant such as a raised heart rate and high bloodpressure. Also, the levels of carbon monoxide in the blood becomeraised. Hence, less oxygen will be available for the baby.

Reducingthe number of cigarettes smoked during pregnancy is assumed to beenough to prevent harming the baby. On the contrary, studies haveshown without a doubt that there is statistically no safe level ofsmoking. As such, even second-hand smoking poses a significant riskto non-smokers [ CITATION Sim16 l 1033 ].A single cigarette means that even the smallest amounts of harmfulchemicals are imparted into the body, and continuous use will alsolead to illness.

Theprimary cause of lung cancer has been attributed to smoking, but aconsiderable number of people believe that environmental pollutionleads to cancer and other respiratory infections. This argument isscientifically correct since some pollutants such as asbestos fiberscan cause lung cancer [ CITATION Sim16 l 1033 ].However, tobacco smoking accounts for the most adverse effects evenwhere these environmental pollutants are minimal.As such, pregnant women whether exposed to environmental pollution ornot, are at risk if they smoke [ CITATION Cen151 l 1033 ].

Anothermisconception is that if smoking was harmful, then why have so manysmokers lived into old age? This is where the aspect of probabilitycomes into play [ CITATION Sim16 l 1033 ].As mentioned before, not everyone will experience the same outcomewhen smoking, and thus, this myth is untrue. While evidence points tothe profound effects, a closer look at the statistics will proveotherwise. In America alone, close to 16 million people are livingwith diseases due to smokingwhile there are approximately 6 million deaths annually [ CITATION Cen16 l 1033 ].

Benefitsof Smoking versus the Disadvantages

Basedon the detrimental outcomes previously it would seem absurd to saythat smoking is beneficial. However, if there were no importance,then there wouldn’t have been any smoking. These benefits rangefrom its ability to alleviate anxiety, schizophrenia and othersymptoms of mental illness. There have also been studies linkingsmoking to a reduction in specific inflammatory disorders such asallergic rhinitis, food allergies, and allergic asthma. A ratherunusual benefit in pregnant women is the revelation that preeclampsiais less common in pregnant smokers compared to expectant non-smokers[ CITATION Jun11 l 1033 ].


Althoughthese advantages have been researched and verified, it is undebatablethat the benefits of smoking are completely outweighed by thedetriments which include lung dysfunction, cancer, heart diseases,and birth defects among other serious health conditions. Quittingtobacco use in pregnant women has been shown as having tremendouseffects in reducing the number of still-births by 11% and infantdeaths by 5% [ CITATION Cen151 l 1033 ].Avoiding or quitting smoking for pregnant women is, therefore, thekey to a healthy life and a healthy baby. Choosing to stop smokingmeans that there is a reduced risk of both the mother and the baby todevelop diseases. There is also an increased likelihood of long lifefilled with energy, and less money will be spent for treatment ofillnesses associated with tobacco use. Ultimately, there issatisfaction one feels when she and the baby exhibit a state ofgeneral well-being.


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