Smoking in pregnancy increases the risk of:
Complications of pregnancy, including bleeding during pregnancy, detachment of the placenta, premature birth, and ectopic pregnancy.
Low birth weight. Babies born to women who smoke are on average 200 grams (8 oz) lighter than babies born to comparable non-smoking mothers. Premature and low birth weight babies are more prone to illness and infections.
Congenital defects in the baby - such as cleft palate.
Stillbirth or death within the first week of life - the risk is increased by about one-third.
Poorer long-term growth, development, and health of the child. On average, compared to children born to non-smokers, children born to smokers are smaller, have lower achievements in reading and maths, and have an increased risk of developing asthma.
How does smoking affect other people?
Children and babies who live in a home where there is a smoker:
Are more prone to asthma and ear, nose and chest infections. About 17,000 children under five years old in England and Wales are admitted to hospital each year due to illnesses caused by their parents smoking.
Have an increased risk of dying from cot death (sudden infant death syndrome).
Are more likely than average to become smokers themselves when older.
On average, do less well at reading and reasoning skills compared to children in smoke-free homes, even at low levels of smoke exposure.
Are at increased risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cancer as adults.
Passive smoking of adults.
You have an increased risk of lung cancer and heart disease if you are exposed to other people smoking for long periods of time. Tobacco smoke is also an irritant, and can make asthma and other conditions worse.
Other problems with smoking
Your breath, clothes, hair, skin, and home smell of stale tobacco. You do not notice the smell if you smoke, but to non-smokers the smell is obvious and unpleasant.
Your sense of taste and smell are...