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Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2013 Nov 29;10(12):6485-99. doi: 10.3390/ijerph10126485.

Smoking and pregnancy--a review on the first major environmental risk factor of the unborn.

Author information

1
Institute of Occupational Medicine, Social Medicine and Environmental Medicine, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, Theodor-Stern-Kai 7, 60590 Frankfurt, Germany. klingelhoefer@med.uni-frankfurt.de.

Abstract

Smoking cigarettes throughout pregnancy is one of the single most important avoidable causes of adverse pregnancy outcomes and it represents the first major environmental risk of the unborn. If compared with other risk factors in the perinatal period, exposure to tobacco smoke is considered to be amongst the most harmful and it is associated with high rates of long and short term morbidity and mortality for mother and child. A variety of adverse pregnancy outcomes are linked with cigarette consumption before and during pregnancy. Maternal prenatal cigarette smoke disturbs the equilibrium among the oxidant and antioxidant system, has negative impact on the genetic and cellular level of both mother and fetus and causes a large quantity of diseases in the unborn child. These smoking-induced damages for the unborn offspring manifest themselves at various times in life and for most only a very limited range of causal treatment exists. Education, support and assistance are of high importance to decrease maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality, as there are few other avoidable factors which influence a child's health that profoundly throughout its life. It is imperative that smoking control should be seen as a public health priority.

PMID:
24351784
PMCID:
PMC3881126
DOI:
10.3390/ijerph10126485
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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