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July 18, 2019  
UTERINE NEWS: Feature Story

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  • Link Between Smoking and Mental Disorders

    Link Between Smoking and Mental Disorders Discovered in Pregnant Women


    June 04, 2007

    By: Erin Coakley for Uterus1

    Yet another reason to quit smoking has been discovered in a study published in Obstetrics and Gynecology. The study, supported in part by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), examined the link between nicotine-dependence and mental disorders in pregnant women in the United States.
    Take Action
    Tips for Quitting Smoking During Pregnancy:
  • Think about how quitting will benefit both you and your baby
  • Set a quit date and stick to it
  • Get rid of all your cigarettes and ashtrays
  • When you have the urge to smoke, find some other way to occupy your hands, mouth, and mind. Chew gum, exercise, or work on a craft project.
  • Ask your prenatal doctor and other women who have quit for help and additional tips.
  • Researchers looked at 1,516 pregnant women aged 18 and older. Participants took a national survey conducted by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, along with about 43,000 other Americans. They found that 21.7 percent of the women used cigarettes during their pregnancy and of these, 57.2 percent were dependent on nicotine. These statistics show that 12.4 percent of all pregnant women in the United States are addicted to cigarettes. Researchers found that nicotine-dependent women were more likely to develop at least one mental disorder, as compared to those who did not smoke during pregnancy. In particular, they found a significant association between smoking and dysthymia, major depressive disorder, and panic disorder.

    According to the director of NIDA, these results may explain why some women are incapable of quitting smoking during pregnancy, even if they are aware of the negative health impacts. These include an increased risk that the mother will deliver a low birth weight baby as well as an increased risk of learning and behavioral problems later in life. The results also show that it is beneficial to screen pregnant women who are addicted to nicotine, in order to develop a successful plan for quitting smoking. Encouraging women to quit smoking before they become pregnant is extremely important for the health of both the mother and the unborn child.

    Source: Obstetrics and Gynecology

    Last updated: 04-Jun-07

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