Buying Cigarettes
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Snuff or cigarettes during pregnancy?

Pregnant woman using snuff can cause more harm to their new born babies. These babies were more likely to have breathing problems than those whose moms smoked cigarettes while pregnant, in new data from Sweden.

Snuff is high in nicotine and is generally assumed to be safer than cigarette. It doesn't generate the same additional chemicals as cigarette because it's not burned.

The smokeless tobacco "may have a little bit different effect than smoking, because smoking has the combustion products, but it's still not safe during pregnancy," Gunnerbeck told Reuters Health.

For babies whose moms had lit up during pregnancy, that risk increased by about 50 percent. And for those whose moms used snuff, the rate was more than twice as high as in babies born to mothers who didn't use any kind of tobacco.

When the researchers took into account how early babies were born, prematurity has been linked to both maternal smoking and breathing problems in newborns, smoking alone didn't have any extra effect on the risk of apnea.

But apnea was still more common when moms used snuff, regardless of whether babies were born early or on time.

But it's also possible that those babies are more likely to have breathing problems, including sleep apnea, when they're older. And apnea may put a kid at higher risk of infection later.

While snuff use is more common in Sweden than elsewhere, pregnant women in other countries may also use nicotine-containing products, such as gum and patches, thinking they're safer than smoking during pregnancy, researchers said.

Smoking during pregnancy has also been linked to sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS. Earlier this month, researchers found that kids and teens born to smoking moms were more likely to take psychiatric medications than when moms hadn't smoked.

The safety during pregnancy of prescription medicines for quitting smoking, such as Chantix and Wellbutrin, hasn't been established.



Published: Wednesday, August 31, 2011

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