"Every woman is urged to stop smoking during pregnancy as early as possible, " advises, for example, the American neuroscientist Lise Eliot. Each dose of nicotine results in reduced oxygenation and nutrients in the fetus due to decreased blood flow to the placenta. Heretofore known episodes include low birth weight, increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SID), as well as hyperactivity and school-age learning difficulties.
Especially the underweight of newborns has been underestimated as a health risk. Because even if the lightweights have caught up with the non-smoking babies on the scales after a few weeks, the difference is not out of the question: babies who are too light at birth and have to gain a lot during the first weeks of life in order to reach a normal weight When adults come, they are often plagued by morbid obesity - a fate that every responsible mother should spare her child as much as possible.
The consequences for children who are exposed to nicotine during pregnancy are far greater than many smokers want to admit. Thus the direct health damage of the child carries a very high risk that it later becomes a smoker himself. It does not matter if the mother smokes herself, or if the pregnant woman is exposed to the smoke of others.
Long-term consequences of nicotine
The cigarette consumption during pregnancy but has more late effects for the baby. In a long-term study, published in the British Health Journal BMJ (Volume 324, pp 26-27), which began in 1958, 17, 000 women were asked about their smoking habits during pregnancy and their children's health status was documented over many years.
The results were clear: Among the children whose mothers had smoked during pregnancy, at the age of 33, they had a significantly higher incidence of diabetes or diseased overweight than the control group who had no contact with the neurotoxin nicotine in the womb. Apparently, the mother's addiction to her unborn child causes a lifelong metabolic disorder.
Nicotine: similarly strong addictive effect as heroin
Smoking is an addictive disorder that causes 7 million people to die worldwide each year. The actual addictive substance is the neurotoxin nicotine. "If there were only nicotine-free cigarettes to buy, there would be no smokers, " says Philip Tönnesen, head of the Department of Pulmonary Medicine at the University Hospital in Copenhagen. Even six to eight weeks of regular cigarette consumption are sufficient to get into a dependency.
"Nicotine has a similarly strong addictive effect as heroin!" Tönnesen warned. The best way to protect yourself and your children from the damage of tobacco smoke is not to start smoking. Smoking bans in public institutions, such as schools, have been shown to contribute significantly to smoking prevention. Studies from the US have shown that in schools where there is a strict smoking ban for students and teachers, significantly fewer young people become smokers.