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                                                        DR. DAN PETERSON

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Smoking affects you and your baby's health


Women Smokers' Risk Double

Female smokers face twice the risk of getting lung cancer as men who smoke. It was found that women had twice the risk of developing lung cancer as men, independent of how much they smoked, their age, or the size and textures of nodules found in their lungs.  The risk for lung cancer also rises with the quantity of tobacco smoked and as the smoker ages. Radiological Society of North America, AGD Impact pg 7 2/04

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Smoking while pregnant and when the child is young can increase his risk for many health problems and for cavities.

Burden of Smoking on the Unborn Baby

     Smoking dramatically increases heartbeat and blood pressure of the pregnant women which in turn negatively impact her and the health of her baby.  Even more dangerous is the crossover of the poisons from inhaled cigarette smoke to the placenta.  Carbon monoxide, arsenic and tar are deadly poisons that reach the developing fetus.


Smoking during pregnancy is estimate to account for 20-30% of low birth weight babies.


As much as 14 % of pre-term deliveries are a result of mother's smoking.


Smoking accounts for 10% of all infant death.**

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   Smoking While Pregnant Can Cause Cleft Lip/Palate  

Women who smoke while pregnant are 50 percent to 70 percent more likely than nonsmokers to give birth to a baby with a cleft lip or palate, according to study results from researchers at the University of Michigan Health System. 

     The risk of the disfiguring facial birth defect rises with the number of cigarettes that a mother-to-be smokes each day. Not only can smoking cause prematurity and low birth weight, it now believed it can cause this devastating problem as well

     There are all sorts of reasons not to smoke anyway and this just adds another very important one in the prenatal and newborn care of the child. Cleft lip and palate make a huge difference in a child's life, and anything that can be done to reduce the risk is well worth it.

     They found that overall, any cigarette use during pregnancy raised the risk of cleft lip or palate 55 percent. Mothers-to-be who smoked half a pack of cigarettes or less a day had a 50 percent higher risk, while those who smoked more than a pack a day had a 78 percent higher risk.

     After correcting for all these factors, the researchers still found that smokers were 30 percent more likely to have a child with the birth defect, and that the rate was still highest among those who smoked the most cigarettes.^

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Smoking While Pregnant Exposes Your Baby to Carcinogens

     Analysis of the first urine from newborns shows that mothers who smoke during pregnancy expose their unborn child to a known carcinogen, researchers report in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

   The Newborns of mothers who smoked contained two metabolites, or products, of a carcinogen called NNK, which is found only in tobacco

    The team also found cotinine a marker for nicotine absorption in 90 percent of the urine samples taken from newborns of smoking mothers.#


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** Tobacco's Toll on Nebraska, Smokeless Nebraska Coalition. Nebraska Dental Association Newsletter. February 2002 pg 13.


^University of Michigan press release, 3/30/00.

#1999 Reuters

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PLEASE NOTE: The information contained herein is intended for educational purposes only.  It is not intended and should not be construed as the delivery of dental/medical care and is not a substitute for personal hands on dental/medical attention, diagnosis or treatment.  Persons requiring diagnosis, treatment, or with specific questions are urged to contact your family dental/health care provider for appropriate care.
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