Smoking harms many aspects and every phase of reproduction. Even with all that we know about the health effects of smoking and the adverse effects of smoking during pregnancy, many pregnant women continue to smoke. It is estimated that only 18 to 25 percent actually quit smoking when they find out they are pregnant.
Women who are pregnant and that continue to smoke are twice as likely to experience complications such as placenta previa, a condition where the placenta grows too close to the opening of the uterus. Placenta previa often leads to the baby being delivered through a caesarean section.
Additional research also suggests that smoking during pregnancy creates health problems for both the baby and the mother. Such as complications during pregnancy, low birth weights, premature birth, stillbirth, and even infant death. Infants born with low birth weights is the leading cause of infant deaths, which results in more than 300,000 infant deaths each year on the U.S.