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Quit Smoking - World No Tobacco Day!

December 3, 2020

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World  No Tobacco day -WNTD" is  celebrated  all over the world every year on 31st May  since  1987 to promote " No Tobacco"  of any form for 24 hrs.  & is symbolically represented by 'Ash trays with fresh flowers'. 


The day is intended to bring awareness about the  widespread use of tobacco & its ill effects on health including ~6million  deaths every year of which 600000 are passive smokers.

Tobacco abuse in pregnancy is at an increasing  trend especially in developing countries & could be double edged as it  affect badly both mother and the baby. Incidence varies from  15-50% (James Walker) although 30% reduction rate is expected during the course  of pregnancy. Smoking in pregnancy is seen in all socio economic groups &  can be associated with alcohol abuse, malnutrition, psychological illness.

Effect of smoking ON PREGNANCY depends on - the age of the  mother, number of cigarettes she smokes per day & the duration in pregnancy  she smokes.

Smoking affects the blood circulation & oxygen supply,  hence placental complications like - missed abortions, placenta previa,  placental abruption, preterm delivery, growth restriction, stillbirths are  common. High incidence of birth defects like cleft lip, cleft palate,  gastrointestinal abnormalities, and lung & heart problems has been  reported. Smoking should be stopped at any cost at the onset of labor.  Close monitoring during labor is mandatory. General anaesthesia may pose  problem in pregnant smokers, so also the risk of thromboembolism.

Neonatal complications include small for date babies,  neurological, behavioural, intellectual impairment & sudden infant death  syndrome -SIDS & asthma

Age old proverb "Prevention is better than cure” holds  good in the management   & demands multidisciplinary approach which includes obstetricians, midwives, counsellor, neonatologist, fetal medicine  specialist, social support group &family.

REPEATED encouragement & counseling approach is  beneficial in both educated & uneducated smokers. Best is to stop smoking  before pregnancy .If not.....stopping even by mid pregnancy has positive health  effect on unborn babies. Relapse of smoking during late pregnancy & post-delivery  is common in -High grade smokers with low education level, alcohol abuse,  smoking partner & older age group. Innocent newborns can be a passive  smoker risking “sudden infant death syndrome”

Needless to say that smoking is associated with increase in  long term morbidity and mortality of the mother. Other noted effects of smoking  on women include Infertility, lung cancer, breast cancer,  cancer cervix, mucinous  ovarian cancer, colon cancer, early menopause, delayed wound healing, gum  diseases, dental problems, stomach ulcers, cataract, Rhematoid arthritis, lower  bone density, stroke, heart disease!

With this information... Lets all join together to motivate deaddiction  BEFORE PREGNANCY & SAY GOOD BYE to relapse anytime  later... So that  

"WE MAKE EVERYDAY WORLD NO TOBACCO DAY"

Contributed by

- Dr. Shobha Venkat

(Sr. Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Cloudnine Hospital, Old Airport Road, Bengaluru)

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