Exposure to Tobacco Smoke in Utero

                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Exposure to Tobacco Smoke in Utero and During the First Year of Life:

Effects on Development

 

Ruth A. Etzel, of the Southcental Foundation in Achorage, U.S.A. (retzel@earthlink.net) presented data on developmental effects from exposure to tobacco smoke in utero and during the first year of life.

 

Dr. Etzel began by pointing out the detrimental effects of exposure to tobacco smoke at all stages of life (Figure 2.1).

 

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Maternal smoking and exposure to second hand tobacco smoke (ETS) in utero affects lung growth and function in children (Figure 2.2).

 

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Infant mortality is significantly higher when mothers smoke (Figures 2.3 and 2.4). Similarly, the incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is greater in infants whose mothers smoke; this effect is magnified if the mother smoked during pregnancy. (Figures 2.5, 2.62.7).

 

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Fatal pulmonary hemorrhage in children is more likely to occur in homes in which there is indoor mold and smoking (Figure 2.8).

 

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Infant respiratory illness is more common in homes in which the mother smokes than in homes in which the mother does not smoke, and to a lesser, but significant, extent in homes in which the father smokes (Figures 2.9 and 2.10). Similarly, the incidence of otitis media is higher among infants in smoking families than among infants in nonsmoking families (Figure 2.11), as is the incidence of asthma (Figure 2.12).

 

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Certain childhood cancers are more frequent in homes in which the father smokes than in homes in which the father does not smoke (Figure 2.13).

 

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Maternal smoking during pregnancy affects cognitive development of children evaluated at four years of age (Figure 2.14).

 

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