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Negative Effects Of Smoking On Human Health And The Economy

1934 words - 8 pages

Moreover, smoking particularly adversely affects women's reproductive health, and smoke exposure on children has had detrimental and some sometimes fatal effects on children. Many studies have examined and outlined the adverse effects of maternal smoking on both the mother as well as on the baby and/or infant ( Hofhuis, de Jongste, & Merkus, 2003 & Woolbright 1994). Many states such as Alabama required documentation on birth certificates of tobacco use of mothers (Woolbright, 1994). Despite the Surgeon general's warning that maternal smoking may result in premature birth, fetal injury, or dangerously low birth rate, fifteen to thirty-seven percent of pregnant women still smoke (Hofhuis, de Jongste, & Merkus, 2003). Mothers who smoke often engage in other high risk behaviors that also affect the health of their infants; furthermore, factors including marital and socio-economic status as well as education attained influence the outcome of pregnancies as a result of increased susceptibility to smoking (Woolbright 1994, p. 330). Low birth weight remains the primary effect of maternal smoking, although the existing literature points to premature birth and infant death as a major consequence of it as well. Infant exposure to tobacco after birth puts the child at risk of death through respiratory diseases and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (Woolbright, 1994). Hofhuis, de Jongste, and Merkus (2003) closely examined how smoking during pregnancy as well as passive smoking thereafter impacted the morbidity and mortality in children. Statistics point to other obstetric complications as a result of smoking which includes spontaneous abortions, ectopic pregnancies, premature rupture of membranes, and complications with the placenta. It hinders the lung growth necessary for fetuses in utero, which results in weakened lungs for the child after birth and sharply increases the child's chance of suffering from asthma and other debilitating respiratory diseases. Furthermore, it affects brain development and behavior and lowers intellectual acuity. Many studies link maternal smoking to the acquisition of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder in their children. Thus, the mortality and well-being of children directly corresponds to whether their mother engaged in prenatal and/or postnatal smoking. Children must be protected from smoke exposure, which calls for the need for policies to prevent pregnant mothers from smoking.
Smoking not only results in the onset of other health debilitations but also indirectly and drastically affects others who do not smoke, which should encourage people to quit smoking before they become addicted to it. Beyond the debilitating effects of secondhand smoking, smoking, according to the CDC reduces fertility in men by altering male sperm, which increases the risk for losing the pregnancy or the baby being born with several birth defects. It also adversely impacts a person's teeth and gums, causing them to lose...

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