a1 King Edward Memorial Hospital, Subiaco, Western Australia
During nine months of pregnancy, a woman who smokes 20 cigarettes each day will inhale nicotine, tar and carbon monoxide more than 50 000 times. This smoke contains chemicals known to be mutagenic and carcinogenic and will interfere with the normal growth and development of her child. Recent studies have revealed disturbing long-term consequences for the offspring. This article reviews the constituents of cigarette smoke, the effects of tobacco usage on the pregnancy, child and placenta, and strategies by which smoking during pregnancies may be prevented.
c1 John P Newnham, Associate Professor, University Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, King Edward Memorial Hospital, 374 Bagot Road, Subiaco, Western Australia6008.