The Effects of Smoking Legislation on Stillbirths

Smoking isn’t good for the human body and legislation has continued curbing smoking in public places for many years. Second-hand smoke is a serious problem affecting many people.

According to the researchers in a joint study between the Netherlands and Boston, USA, approximately 10-20% of women in high-income countries smoke throughout pregnancy. Tobacco smoking and SHS exposure during pregnancy increase the risk of stillbirth by 36-47% and 23%, respectively.

The researchers found that pregnant women who stop smoking during the first trimester have a stillbirth risk that is similar to that seen in non-smoking women, indicating that the smoking-associated increased risk is entirely preventable. Accordingly, several interventions that successfully reduce smoking during pregnancy have been shown to result in improvements in perinatal outcomes.

In a recent meta-analysis of 11 studies relating anti-smoking legislation and its effect on perinatal and child outcomes, there was a significant reduction in pre-term births as well as hospital attendance for asthma exacerbation. Reductions in second- and third-hand smoke (environmental tobacco smoke; ETS) exposure, smoking in the home, and smoking during pregnancy are likely to have mediated these effects, according to the study.

For more information read the entire analysis.

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