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March 7th, 2011
12:01 AM ET

Pregnant women: Secondhand smoke can harm your unborn baby

Even if you don't smoke when you're pregnant, just being around smokers, can increase the risk of harming your future baby, according to a new study in the medical journal Pediatrics.

Researchers found exposure to secondhand smoke increased a non-smoking pregnant woman's chances of having a stillborn by 23 percent, and increased the risk of delivering a baby with birth defects by 13 percent.

"These results highlight the importance of smoking prevention and cessation focusing on the father in addition to the mother, during the preconception period and during the pregnancy," explains Dr. Jonathan Winickoff, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, who is not affiliated with the study.

The team of experts reviewed virtually all available studies worldwide that focused on this health issue.

The scientists aren't exactly sure what levels of secondhand smoke are dangerous, but they do think the more exposure the higher the risks.

"We anticipate that the effect becomes significant when the woman is exposed to more than 10 cigarettes a day, which isn't a lot when you consider that some women are exposed to partners and other people's smoking habits on a daily basis. However, we need more evidence to be able to say with certainty what the true levels are," explains study author Jo Leonardi-Bee, PhD and Associate Professor in Medical Statistics at the University of Nottingham in England.

This research also suggests that secondhand smoke can be almost as dangerous to a baby as having a mother who smokes, at least when referring to stillbirths and birth defects.

Pregnant smokers have a 20 to 34% increase risk of having a baby who is stillborn compared to women who don't smoke, according to Dr. Winickoff. The risks weren't much less – 23% – for the non-smokers exposed to secondhand smoke.

The picture for birth defects is similar. The range for smoking women and birth defects is between 10 – 34%, and for pregnant women who are around smokers, 13%. Babies exposed to passive smoke were more likely to be born with major deformities of the feet, testes, or not have a brain.

"We know there are at least 400 toxic chemicals in tobacco smoke. These can get into the pregnant mother and affect her baby," says Dr. Winickoff.

Cigarettes contain heavy metals, DNA damaging agents, and class one carcinogens – the most harmful ones known.

"Protect yourself from passive smoke before and during pregnancy, not only to reduce risks of disease to yourself, but also to reduce the many harms that passive smoke can have on your future baby," says Leonardi-Bee.


soundoff (206 Responses)
  1. Oy Vey Az

    CAUTION: Pregnancy can severely harm your enjoyment of tobacco.

    March 7, 2011 at 15:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Medicinal Chemist

      How can people be so ignorant? I've worked as an organic chemist in drug discovery for 10 years and I've never encountered another professional chemist that smoked. That's because chemists are educated and we know the following facts:

      1) Cigarette smoke contains carbon monoxide – Hemoglobin binds to carbon monoxide in your lungs instead of oxygen and then carries it through your bloodstream....killing your cells.....and yes cells are part of you...duh
      2) Cigarette smoke contains benzo[a]pyrene, one of most deadly carcinogens known to man. A P-450 metabolite of this compound inhibits the tumor suppression enzyme P-53. So therefore, P-53 cannot "repair" your DNA if too busy reacting with this metabolite.
      3) Nicotine is still used as an insecticide in some countries and Indians (Native Americans) used to rub tobacco leaves on themselves to keep bugs away.

      If America took science more seriously and actually taught kids what they are actually inhaling into their lungs, there would be far less smokers.

      To you smokers, it's not about personal freedom and keeping the government out of your lives, it's about wasting resources and being selfish. When your "personal choice" gives you cancer or heart disease, you cannot afford the treatment and then we all get to pay for your "PERSONAL CHOICE"

      PLEASE GO ON THE GUM, THEN YOU'RE JUST CHEWING THE INSECTICIDE AND NOT EXPOSING THE REST OF US.

      March 7, 2011 at 22:19 | Report abuse |
    • Artria

      You know, every time I walk out of a building and a wave of tobacco smoke consumes my breath of fresh air, I get so angry. I give the person an evil glare, because even though they have the freedom to smoke, I have the freedom NOT TO SMOKE OR BREATH IN OTHER PEOPLES SMOKE! Ban smoking in public, and make then stay home to smoke... make it child abuse to allow your kids to breath smoke, when it would be equal abusive to leave them in a burning building filled with smoke knowing you could get them out easily. My ability to sing and be athletic was ruined due to 13 years of second hand exposure from my step father in the house, in the car, hanging out on the porch, etc. I got burned several times. He always stunk, and the only good part was when he used the tobacco on a bee sting because I was allergic and it actually helped.

      March 8, 2011 at 09:37 | Report abuse |
    • cdb

      My god. Lets do a study on how much car pollution with hurt an unborn fetus. I live in San Francisco currently and I find it funny that a lot of people here that glare at others for smoking during the day will light up and not care one bit while they are drinking. I would like to have public smoking areas through the city and im not saying one every few miles. There needs to be one on only one side of the street every other block or so. This would help on public smoking and cig butts on the ground. Non-Smokers need to get a grip. If you inhale a small amount of air and cig smoke its basically as harmful as the air your breathing right now. This is for people passing by. Not staying in the same room. Every time I step outside and walk to work I have to breath your cars smoke. Ban cars in public areas then lets talk about cigs. HAH!

      March 8, 2011 at 11:32 | Report abuse |
  2. Craig from Pa.

    I hope tobacco is outlawed completely!.Then people will still be having breathing problems and then where will the blame go??? Look how long people have been fighting the tobacco lobby and we still are legal with tobacco. If it ever gets outlawed, maybe the next cause will be the pollution from the oil used in the millions of cars, diesel trucks, etc. Good luck shutting them down!...Alternative energy, don't count on it! The oil lobby will fight this for many more years to come...we're all gonna die sometime from something!

    March 7, 2011 at 15:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Beckers

      It is good that we have environmental laws limiting polution by cars, and we should continue to attempt to make the environment a cleaner place to breath in – from reducing exposure to cigarette smoke, to all sorts of pollution. Without any regulations, the world can be a very disgusting place. I traveled to Arequipa and Cuzco Peru lately and my lungs felt terrible after walking around all day – I desperately needed to go inside. I hear cities in China and elsewhere are even worse. Thank goodness the U.S. works to make sure we aren't exposed to so much pollution, and I would be happy with additional work to try to decrease it further. The transportation thing is tough because we need it to get to work and to live our lives – so it makes sense to eliminate it where we can from completely unnecessary sources that we do not need.

      March 7, 2011 at 16:26 | Report abuse |
    • SAM

      And ALCOHOL too...It's the REAL KILLER and DOES BRING DEATH,HARM,Destruction DAILY TO OTHER PEOPLE......PERIOD

      March 8, 2011 at 12:05 | Report abuse |
  3. Steve

    The Bear – you must be a FOX loyalist and Tobacco company propagandist. I am the child of smoking parents. Mom smoked during and after. I have physical birth defects. She had 4 kids – that survived; 3 miscarriages. I think the science supports the evidence in this case. My smoking uncle died of lung cancer. Yes, smoking is bad and so is second hand smoke. If people can avoid it, good for them.
    I think that the desire for a "crutch" of some sort, maybe even addiction itself, is a common human trait. And we are very orally inclined for satisfaction. Cigarettes provide that fix; nicotine keeps people hooked. Pure exploitation.

    March 7, 2011 at 15:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • dom625

      And a good friend of mine, who neither smokes nor is around anyone that does, had five miscarriages before finally conceiving. Anecdotal evidence exists on both sides. And as long as people miscarry whether smoking or not, we can never definitively prove one thing or the other.

      March 7, 2011 at 15:45 | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Yes, anecdotal evidence exists on all sides, then again, if folks would take their study to sources such as Ovid and Pubmed and learn to critically appraise all bench/clinical trials and learn a little about statistics along the way, instead of relying on CNN or "Phillip Morris" for their data, they would have no questions, first and second hand smoking are dangerous activities, especially to the young. I agree, enough with the anecdotal evidence when there are boatloads of data out their to clearly demonstrate the links with smoking and pulmonary disease, cardiovascular disease, the impact of second-hand smoke, the impact on children.

      And, actually, given statistical methods of correcting for confounding variables, yes, a link between an independent variable (smoking in this case) and an outcome (miscarriage) can be clearly delineated with a very high confidence interval. It's not that difficult to exclude confounding factors at all, really.

      March 7, 2011 at 15:59 | Report abuse |
  4. dawn

    Second hand smoke, and smoking is bad for the babies health? So what? So is abortion. What's your point?

    March 7, 2011 at 15:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • dawn

      Wait, I get it: The baby is only worth being bothered to be cared for if she WANTS it. Otherwise, just go one step further then smoke and go ahead and cut it up into little tiny pieces.

      Yeah, with the unbelievable double standard and hypocrisy of the article, I couldn't resist. I brought abortion into it.

      March 7, 2011 at 15:51 | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      That's sort of a leap for agenda-sake.

      March 7, 2011 at 15:53 | Report abuse |
    • Bath

      Since when is a baby an it?

      March 7, 2011 at 18:16 | Report abuse |
    • 3rd Trimester Mom

      My baby is lovingly called many things, "it" as one of them as I don't know the gender, so yes...it is acceptable as in this sentence. "I think it's time to set-up the crib in the nursery because the baby will be here soon and we need a place for it to sleep." Please stop trying to troll!

      March 8, 2011 at 13:17 | Report abuse |
    • Samantha

      Your comment doesn't even make sense. Because abortion is legal, therefore exposing fetuses to something that increases the risk of birth defects is okay?

      July 3, 2013 at 20:32 | Report abuse |
  5. marianewyork

    OMG.....YA THINK???

    March 7, 2011 at 15:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ! ! ! ! ! ! !

      I know right!!

      March 7, 2011 at 16:50 | Report abuse |
  6. dawn

    How DARE anyone tell pregnant women they can't smoke because it's bad for the baby. It's the WOMANS body so hands off!!! As long as she isn't around anyone else who happens to be OUTSIDE of her body, then it is only affecting HER. And WHY is CNN using false wording by calling it an unborn baby. My God, how DARE they spread that kind of guilt around when it is nothing more then a clump of flesh?!!?

    (Note the sarcasm)

    March 7, 2011 at 15:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jujubeans

      What happened to freedom of choice? Oh, that only applies to abortions.

      March 7, 2011 at 18:15 | Report abuse |
    • Samantha

      NOBODY argues that murder is okay. The argument is whether or not life starts at conception. Exposing a fetus, which will be a living human, to the risks of birth defects and a lower quality of life is WRONG regardless of your view on abortion.

      July 3, 2013 at 20:35 | Report abuse |
  7. herrsonic

    Good thing it's only poor and uneducated people who smoke and it's their kids that get caught up in the legacy.

    March 7, 2011 at 15:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Denizen Kate

      Do you really believe that? Only poor and uneducated people smoke? Seriously? You're either very young or very naive. Perhaps both.

      March 7, 2011 at 16:15 | Report abuse |
  8. seabass1

    It is clear to me now , after reading all the comments , that smoking is good for you . Inhaling the burnt leaves of the tobacco plant is beneficial and holds many nutrients for your body . Especially after the leaves have been heavily altered by the tobacco companies , with many added ingredients , that we don't even know what they are . So as a non-smoker my whole life , I finally see the light....so to speak . I will believe all the people who say smoking is not bad , I will expose my children to the smoke , like they do , and revel in the fact that it is good for them , no matter what the experts say !!!! Thank you smokers !!!

    March 7, 2011 at 15:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. dawn

    Steve: No Steve, it's not really much of a leap at all. We are constantly being bombarded with the message that if the child, or "it" is wanted, then "it" is an "unborn baby" and worth all the protections we can afford it, like avoiding even second hand smoke at all costs. Otherwise, "it" is just an "it", and human right to life be damned.

    March 7, 2011 at 15:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. dane

    Dawn has a valid point, though I don't want to turn this into another abortion debate. But seriously, WHY is CNN referring to it as an unborn baby?

    March 7, 2011 at 16:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • CriticalThinkingMuch?

      Because the author of this piece is aiming his narrative at expecting Mothers or those who know them. This is not an abortion issue. It is a study geared towards expecting Mothers, information to consider when planning a child or with child. That's it. Therefore the term Baby. The link for this piece actually says "fetus". The narrative changes for the demographic it is intended to affect.

      March 7, 2011 at 21:49 | Report abuse |
  11. dane

    By the way, I am pro-choice.

    March 7, 2011 at 16:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. hi

    smoking in public is like spraying benzene on yourself in times square using a hose. You are KILLING yourself and those around you.

    March 7, 2011 at 16:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Jeezum

    ...How 'bout a glass of merlot?

    March 7, 2011 at 16:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Denizen Kate

    I've known people who smoked and died from lung cancer. I quit smoking several years ago because I had another type of cancer, not related to smoking, but once your body learns how to grow that stuff . . . well, I didn't like watching my aunt die that way, so I quit.

    However! My doctor told me that all the following problems would go away if I quit smoking cigarettes:
    1) Coughing up a gob of phlegm every morning.
    2) Shortness of breath.
    3) Post-nasal drip.
    4) Ruddy complexion.
    5) Chronic fatique.
    6) Constant nasal congestion.

    There was more, but you get the idea, right? Guess what: only #2 has cleared up at all; everything else is now blamed on allergies (grasses, weeds, and cats). The only other thing that improved was the range of my singing voice. I'm not saying I'm going to take up smoking again (it just wouldn't make sense given the overall scientific evidence of potential harm), I'm just saying that perhaps some of the evidence is slanted, spun in an anti-tobacco direction. Maybe that isn't a bad thing, but I'm tired of the government giving us more and more rules and laws by which we must abide, and less real information.

    March 7, 2011 at 16:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Steve

      Kate, I think your doctor was misinterpreting statistics. As a physician myself, yes, statistically you are likely to see an improvement in any of the above. Will you individually seen an improvement? If you are on the right statistical side of the equation, if you aren't smoking on top of superimposed allergies that mask any slight improvement, etc. Either you misheard or the physician didn't explain clearly. But, to answer your question, no, there is no slant. You are certainly statistically more likely to see improvement in all of those areas with smoking cessation. Some people confuse statistical likelihoods with absolutes and discredit when it isn't a matter of absolutes.

      March 7, 2011 at 16:15 | Report abuse |
    • jimboe

      so what you're saying is, you're defective.

      March 7, 2011 at 16:30 | Report abuse |
  15. Nobody N. Particular

    Does any one read these studies, which make these rather bold claims? I mean, what was the sample size, was it statisically significant? Also, list of all the assumptions made regarding this study; in the first study regarding second hand smoke and it's health effect, made the assumption that if you developed lung cancer (or any other lung diseases) and there was a smoker present (at home or at work) then there was a direct relationship between the smoking and the illness. Statisics can only show a correlation between two events, it DOESN'T prove any sort of CAUSE & EFFECT relationship. These assumptions are the foundation of the faulty studies, that and the fact that the details of the statisical sampling method is not include says a lot about the "science" of the study. Now having said that, if I were a parent of a small child (or baby) I would certainly limit the exposure they would have to these things, but not to the point that I would demand that everyone else change for the sake of my child.

    March 7, 2011 at 16:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. BungleJungle

    Cigarettes contain heavy metals? No wonder they're so badass.

    Time to go smoke around pregnant women!

    March 7, 2011 at 16:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. joe

    smoking during pregnancy bad, second hand smoke bad, put em together and u get an obvious conclusion! Bad!!! lol common sense. stupid article

    March 7, 2011 at 16:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Kado

    Cigarettes should just be outlawed, period. They stick and smokers' waste is all over the sidewalks and the street. In cold season, they are always the ones who can't shake their colds for weeks and weeks. They smell horrible and they take several long breaks during the workday to get their 'fix'. My mother and I had a very contentious relationship and a large part of that was because she smoked in the house and in the car...with all the windows up. She was a rude smoker and, as a child, when I complained, she would blow smoke into my face. So, I grew up, understandably, with a very anti-smoking point of view. My mother, incidentally, died from lung cancer when long-awaited grandchildren were only 8, 3 and newborn. The look on her face when she looked at them said just what she was thinking. It was heartbreaking. You cannot have a strong, viable, physically, and MENTALLY healthy country when addictive, killer products are available everywhere. It's sick.

    March 7, 2011 at 16:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Emilia

      For the one your mother blew smoke on your face when you complained as a child, sorry dude but she deserved the end she had. I am glad you grew up to be a nice adult as you sound. What she did was child abuse!

      December 9, 2011 at 21:58 | Report abuse |
  19. Beckers

    Ok – serious question to smokers – why do you smoke? IComing up with a list of negatives and positives:

    Negatives:
    1. You smell gross
    2. you are ruining your health
    3. you are hurting the health of those around you
    4. (some of) you are littering (I've seen gorgeous beaches littered with cigarette butts and it makes me sad!)
    5. You are wasting a lot of money that could be used for much better things (paying off debt, a child's college fund, retirement...)

    and these are the positives I can think of...

    So tell me why you smoke – and not just "because I can". What are good reasons to smoke?

    March 7, 2011 at 16:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • RXW

      There are no good reasons to smoke at all. I smoked for two years, and have been 'smober' for five, but I still remember the addiction. It is powerful, and unless you have felt it you really have zero idea or understanding. I hated it every time I would smoke, but my brain and body didn't care.

      The first few days into my quit journey, I would be extremely edgy. I felt as though my body was tingling and had terrible focus. I was cranky and lethargic, and all I could think about was a cigarette. Everything reminds you of it. Speaking of that (everything reminding you of it), I was fighting a habit alongside the addiction. Songs, waking up, coffee, after eating, while driving, etc, were all triggers of the habit.

      Habits and addiction are two very separate yet powerful things. When they are both focused on the same thing, they have a synergistic relationship that no-one but a smoker/ex-smoker knows.

      So there. Not one positive, you are 100% correct.

      March 8, 2011 at 02:02 | Report abuse |
    • SAM

      And what about all the DRINKERS OF BOOZE,Their HELPFUL TO OTHERS And not a DANGER.....OH YEA SURE

      March 8, 2011 at 12:03 | Report abuse |
  20. Second hand myths

    'Researches have found' Where are the facts, statistics and proof?? What kind of bogus reporting is this.

    March 7, 2011 at 16:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Beckers

      This is a CNN article – usually they do not include all statistics and citations, but just a bit of a summary. I'm sure you could look to the medical journal Pediatrics, as it cites, if you were truly interested in determining the credibility of the research. As someone in research myself (although not medical), I assure you that all studies are highly scrutinized before they are accepted into such prestigious journals – and that every sentence must be backed up by evidence.

      March 7, 2011 at 17:01 | Report abuse |
  21. WDinDallas

    I am surpised that we have an article defending the fetus on CNN. Usually it is abort murdering fetus's saying they are just a lump of cells or it is justifiable because it is unwanted, or black, or retarded, or ill.

    Yes, makes me want to cut back to a pack a day!

    March 7, 2011 at 16:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jrh

      Can you please cite me the exact story (date, URL) where CNN or any other news outlet has said that? I didn't think you could.

      March 7, 2011 at 17:03 | Report abuse |
  22. jrh

    Once again, why is this on a "news" web site? We've known this for decades. How about publishing something that's *actually* news?

    March 7, 2011 at 17:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Tcat

    The whole smoker bashing thing is just another symptom of our emerging nanny state. I don't need a government or any other organization to tell me what is and isn't good for me. We all KNOW smoking is bad for you, and second hand smoke is probably not good for a fetus. So use your damn god given common sense and smoke outside when wifey is expecting. The last thing I need is somebody telling me what I can and cant do inside my house, I am not incapable of common sense, I can make the decision not to expose people to my habit on my own. If a 17 year old kid can join the military and a woman can abort her child then I can pack my lungs with tar if I want and its MY problem and MY choice to do so. I can run my life just fine without busy bodies legislating how I live.

    March 7, 2011 at 17:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • medstudent

      you smoke.

      This means – you don't care about rising healthcare costs because smoking is largely to blame for the rise in heart disease and cancer, two of the costliest portions of healthcare which lead to rising insurance premiums

      It also means you don't care about your own health, or your family's health, or other pregnant women's health.

      It also means, statistically, you are uneducated (most smokers, statistically are uneducated and that is a fact).

      Therefore, no I don't believe you have "common sense", statistically you're an uneducated, impulsive buffoon who likes to breathe in over 2000 toxic chemicals simply because "you can". It's pretty sad actually.

      It also makes you smell awful and age quicker. Smokers are actually pretty disgusting.

      March 7, 2011 at 17:10 | Report abuse |
    • medstudent

      "I can pack my lungs with tar if I want it's my problem"

      No it's this country's problem because your idiocy is going to cost everyone else money, since you are knowingly doing something that is going to use more healthcare resources.

      If it was only your problem, when you got lung cancer you'd go and kill yourself. Otherwise, it's not your problem, it's the healthcare system's problem. Since I'd bet my life you don't have 10 grand a week to spend on chemo, you'd either be using insurance (increasing everyone else's premiums by increasing insurance company costs, that is a fact), or you'd be basically stealing from the medical system by going in, getting chemo, and then not paying and allowing the hospital to swallow the cost, raising everyone else's rate.

      And it's not only lung cancer, that goes for lung cancer, heart disease, pulmonary embolism/vascular events/cerebrovascular disease, asthma, COPD/emphysema/chronic bronchitis/pneumonia

      the list goes on. In the end, smokers are selfish, shortsighted buffoons. And they smell.

      March 7, 2011 at 17:15 | Report abuse |
    • Health Teach

      So, I'm definitely anti-smoking but, the statistics say that smokers tend to die off younger and therefor are less of a societal burden to us than the obese area anyway. It seems to me that if this is the case, then we should not only ban cigarettes but also pop, Lil Debbie's, candy bars, cookies, etc., to get rid of the obese people who are draining our health care system. In fact, while we're at it, maybe we should ban tylenol and ibuprofen because the over use of them can be bad for you too. Maybe we should also ban salt because that causes high blood pressure. It's a slippery slope folks, a slippery, slippery slope!

      March 8, 2011 at 13:27 | Report abuse |
  24. medstudent

    anyone who smokes nowadays is 99% of the time a buffoon, and 1% of the time was a buffoon when they're a teenager and now regret it.

    March 7, 2011 at 17:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • j

      Screw you

      March 7, 2011 at 17:12 | Report abuse |
    • Health Teach

      I hope to God your bedside manner improves before you become a doctor, but your arrogance suggests that it won't.

      March 8, 2011 at 13:28 | Report abuse |
  25. DAT

    "You Can't Be Serious" and "Oscar Meyer" Obviously, neither one of you has actually bothered to look in a dictionary. There are many on-line if you don't own one (which, judging from the ignorance of your comments, seems likely).

    March 7, 2011 at 17:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bologna

      You are the one who misspelled Bologna, and then tried to call someone out for it. Ricky Retardo

      March 8, 2011 at 10:58 | Report abuse |
  26. sameeker

    Fill a tavern with second hand smoke. Next door, fill one with car exhaust. Now let's see which one has people coming out alive at the end of the night. Oh yes, only nonsmokers in the care exhaust tavern so there can be no implication that cigarette smoke killed them.

    March 7, 2011 at 17:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Beckers

      that's a great reason why it should be ok to be exposed to second hand smoke...because it's also bad to be in a room full of car exhaust?? I agree, being around lots of car exhaust is gross, and I like to limit my exposure to it. I would never willingly sit in a tavern full of car exhaust, and I'm pretty sure no one here would! However, cars are functional and it makes sense as to why people use them. Eliminating cars would make it tough for people to go to work, school, to buy food, etc. Limiting smoking would have what negative consequences?? I can't think of one.

      March 7, 2011 at 17:24 | Report abuse |
    • sameeker

      beckers – Not only do smokers pay alot of taxes that you don't, they also represent the freedom to do as we will. You miss the whole point of my post. Car exhaust is far more dangerous the smoke. When you mention the impact of banning cars, you are just making excuses because you don't want to ban something that affects you.

      March 7, 2011 at 17:28 | Report abuse |
    • Beckers

      I think there are far better examples of freedom in this country than smoking – like say the freedom to practice whatever religion you choose, or the freedom of speech. The freedom to harm yourself and potentially harm others through totally unnecessary means...not so wonderful.

      And banning cars wouldn't actually affect me as much as others. I work from home, and before this I used public transportation. I also often walk to the grocery store. But – I can see that people really need cars, and sometimes I do too. But none of us need cigarettes, and everyone would be better off without them. I do drive a small, low emissions vehicle because I do care about limiting the amount I pollute the country.

      March 7, 2011 at 17:41 | Report abuse |
  27. James

    Tobacco should be a controlled class a substance just like cocaine and heroin.

    March 7, 2011 at 17:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. sameeker

    I don't eat at McDonalds so I demand that everyone else quit eating there. After all, I don't want to be driving on the interstate when one of you has a fast food heart attack and causes a pile up.

    March 7, 2011 at 17:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. iminim

    Thanks to the commenters in this section who are trying to explain statistics and scientific research methods to people who prefer the sound-bite approach to science. Anecdotal evidence may make for interesting comments but is basically scientifically worthless most of the time. Combine that with people who are personally affronted when scientific study results threaten their ability to delude themselves about the "safety" of their cigarettes and you have an uphill battle. Keep it up!

    March 7, 2011 at 18:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Liza

    Isn't this sort of obvious?

    March 7, 2011 at 19:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Justina

    And no alcohol and caffeine, either, of course. In short, pregnant women should be in a clean environment with clean substances. Fragile humans such as babies, pregnant women, elderly people, people with allergies, etc. contribute to the whole population group to stay moderate and safe always.

    March 7, 2011 at 20:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. seabass1

    Tobacco products , especially cigarettes , are the most heavily tested consumer products on the market today . More so than even food Cigarette companies have some of the most technologically advanced machines to test thier products , because so much care has to be made when producing a product that WILL kill you , that you have to balance how much toxins you allow , how many toxins in each delivery vehicle (cigarette) , and still make them as addictive as possible without killing your target consumers ! They need them around as long as possible to continue consuming thier "products" !

    Smoke"em if you got "O\

    March 7, 2011 at 23:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Wellduh

    This discussion reminds me of when former California Governor Pete Wilson, on the tobacco cartel's payroll, in defense of tobacco claimed that "even too much milk can be bad for you." Yeah.

    March 8, 2011 at 00:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. SAM

    I should have been dead 60 Years ago then or Had other problems along with my other two siblings,This is a LIE Period,I did a test years ago on Cigarette Smoke when i had a party,25 Were Smoking in my Kitchen,2 Smoke alarms were Working fine,Never ever went off in a Smoke filled room,So I called The Company,I asked the person why didn't the Alarm Sound with all that PASSIVE SMOKE,He Said this to me.....It don't detect that type of Smoke..........SO who says Passive SMoke has carbon monoxide is LYING to further the push for BANS,DISCRIMINATION,Taxes,While Booze is allowed everywhere,It Harms The FETUS by 1000 times over any smoking,and Yet it even says it on all booze ,cans,bottle,Mat HARM PREGNANCY ?MAY ? May my A.S............Look it up and Stop all the LIES ALSO...........Its not SMOKING,Its ALCOHOL killing everyone at the Cost of $ 235 Billion a year in the USA.........PERIOD

    March 8, 2011 at 04:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. SAM

    3) Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) results in mental and physical retardation of the newborn. The incidence of FAS in the United States is 1.9 cases per every 1000 births. Birth defects other than FAS linked to alcohol use are 1 in every 100 births. Statistically these numbers are huge. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the net rates for FAS are 1 in 500 for US, Canada, Europe and Australia combined. In 1991, The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported that FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome) is the leading known cause of mental retardation in Western Civilization (see http://come-over.to/FAS)

    March 8, 2011 at 04:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. SAM

    Any QUESTIONS ????????????????????????? STOP PROTECTING ALCOHOL and ATTACKING SMOKING

    March 8, 2011 at 04:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. HRPuckinfutz

    This is one of those studies that concludes the obvious. It seems that the money wasted on this study could have been used to educated ignorant pregnant women about the dangers of second hand smoke and how they should avoid it in order to protect their child. Really, how many women out there are not aware of the dangers of second hand smoke? Cigarettes kill, whether you smoke them or not if you are around people who smoke. Cigarettes are a death industry. They should be outlawed. Or keep raising the taxes on cigarettes until on the wealthy can afford them.

    March 8, 2011 at 04:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Wellduh

    If you're stupid enough to smoke, you deserve cancer

    March 8, 2011 at 09:20 | Report abuse | Reply
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    My loser ex-boyfriend picked up smoking a year or two after we started dating. I did not sign up for dating a smoker, but he somehow slowly became one. I found it to be a really weak habit. He would do it when he was mad, bored, tired, anxious... instead of using smoking to "calm" yourself, why not confront your emotions like an adult?

    March 8, 2011 at 13:43 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.