Other Conditions & Exposures

Expert reports about Other Conditions & Exposures


INFORMATION FOR WOMEN WHO ARE THINKING OF USING, ARE USING, OR HAVE USED TOBACCO DURING PREGNANCY OR BREASTFEEDING

 

What is tobacco?

Tobacco is a plant that is cultivated for its leaves, which are processed for use in tobacco products, such as cigarettes and cigars which are smoked, although other preparations of tobacco are chewed. Tobacco use leads to addiction, because tobacco contains nicotine, an extremely addictive drug. Smoking is currently on the decline in the United States, while rates in Europe vary strikingly between countries; 38 percent of Belgians maintain the deadly habit compared with only 7 percent of people in Sweden, the latter country boasting a smoking rate much lower than any US state.

Tobacco addiction is a long-term disorder characterized by a persistent, uncontrollable desire to get nicotine into your body, usually by smoking. Use of tobacco varies greatly around the world. Even when anticipating pregnancy, after becoming pregnant, or after giving birth, women often have trouble quitting. Reports from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that the rate of smoking cessation is very high during pregnancy, a time when the percentage of smokers drops, yet 10 percent of US pregnant women report smoking during at least the last 3 months of pregnancy.


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