Science and Tech


Prolonged Smoke Exposure Can Cause Miscarriage: Study

A recent study linked exposure to tobacco smoke, even for nonsmokers, with an increased risk of adverse pregnancies outcome.
Posted at 2:39 PM, Feb 27, 2014

The list of the dangerous effects of smoking continues to grow. Now, the newest dangers concern pregnant women.

A new study published Wednesday in the journal Tobacco Control observed an increased risk of adverse pregnancies the longer a woman has been exposed to tobacco smoke.

In the largest study of its kind, researchers in New York looked at the exposure of tobacco smoke in more than 80,000 post-menopausal women who had been pregnant at least once. (Via  WXYZ)

LiveScience reports more than half of those women — about 41,000 — never smoked. But those who had been exposed to secondhand smoke for more than 10 years were 61 percent more likely to have ectopic pregnancies, 55 percent more likely to have a stillbirth, and 17 percent more likely to miscarry than non-smokers who were not exposed to smoke.

The researchers told LiveScience although its well known smoking by pregnant women is linked to a greater risk of pregnancy complications, the effects of secondhand smoke on reproductive health haven't been as clear.

But the findings of this study suggest even passive exposure to smoke is linked to many adverse effects in pregnancies. (Via KABC)

Most notably, the researchers say currently being exposed to smoke can put a woman at risk for pregnancy complications even if she doesn't plan on having children until later. (Via  KNBC)

According to  KNBC, the link between cigarette smoke and adverse pregnancies might be due to a decreased blood supply to the womb.

The study comes after the surgeon general's newest report on smoking and secondhand smoke exposure released last month — listing many adverse pregnancy effects for fetuses, including cleft lip and palates and low birth weight. (Via U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)