Dangers of smoking in pregnancy highlighted in leading journal

(AOGS) – The leading Nordic and international journal on prenatal medicine – has published a special issue covering the effects of tobacco on pregnant women and their babies.

PregnancyThe issue – which is offered as Open Access on all articles relating to smoking in pregnancy – addresses the medical problems faced by fetuses, newborn babies and young children who are subjected to tobacco exposure, whether through direct smoking by the mother or second-hand smoke inhalation.

Dr Zuszsanna Jakab, the new head of the WHO in Europe, provides a Guest Editorial in the issue and spearheads a series of more than 20 scientific contributions, highlighting smoking as a leading cause of poor pregnancy outcome and prenatal death. In addition, it is linked to several health problems that seriously affect reproduction.

“While smoking is declining among women in some high-income countries, it is increasing in low and middle income countries and big tobacco companies now heavily promote ‘western’ brands of cigarettes in these countries,” explains Dr Reynir Tómas Geirsson, MD, PhD, FRCOG and Chief Editor of Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica. “Indeed, even in wealthier countries, those who are exposed to tobacco through pregnancy are likely to be among the socially disadvantaged and it is vital to help educate people about the risks to their children.”

“Male smoking rates are also still high in far too many countries, which exposes pregnant women and young children both at home and ina public places,” continues Dr Geirsson. “Our April issue is the first ever to be dedicated to this important topic with a global public health and policy perspective.”

The AOGS issue – which can be found on; www.informahealthcare.com/aogs - provides data, analysis and insight into the problem and highlights the international call to action for funding support, scientific inquiry and evidence-based interventions to prevent and reduce tobacco exposure among pregnant women and their vulnerable babies.