Smoking and Vaping during Pregnancy: To Quit or Not to Quit?


“Smoking is bad for you” is something just about every smoker and non-smoker has heard at least a million times. Now let us give you some insight as to how popular and common smoking is right now in Malaysia. According to the SunDaily just last year, 4.7 million people out of nearly 30 million in Malaysia are regular smokers. That is nearly 1 in every 6 people that tend to smoke. This means every family has at least 1 smoker. Imagine that! And if we look at the gender based statistics, it shows that 38% of the male population in Malaysia are smokers while 1.7% of the females in Malaysia are smokers. Though the female side of the statistics may not seem too worrying, it is a stark increase from just a few years back when less than 1% had been smoking. Nevertheless, it is safe to say that the habit of smoking in this country is rising and rising fast.

Pregnancy and Smoking

This is a pretty obvious one we would say. There are countless harms of smoking to the baby and also the carrier. The poisonous carbon monoxide, nicotine and various other harmful chemicals that make it into a smoker’s bloodstream will eventually reach the baby as well. This leads to:

  • Lower amount of oxygen available to you and your growing baby.

  • Increase in baby's heart rate.

  • Increased chances of miscarriage and stillbirth.

  • Increased risk that your baby is born prematurely and/or born with low birth weight.

  • Increase in your baby's risk of developing respiratory (lung) problems.

  • Increased risk of birth defects.

Pregnancy and Second hand Smoke

Believe it or not, studies have shown that second hand smoke is actually more detrimental to the health of both mother and infant than first hand smoke! The residue of a single cigarette butt contains roughly 4,000 different chemicals, some of which are extremely carcinogenic - cancer causing. The negative impact of this action is identical to the risks mentioned above but with heightened risk. So, no, you should definitely not smoke in the presence of your spouse who’s either trying to get pregnant, is currently pregnant or who has just given birth. Your smoking habit now affects at least 3 different people inclusive of yourself.

Pregnancy and Third hand Smoke

Third hand smoke is not something you hear everyday. In fact, it is something that has only recently made its way onto the spotlight as studies show a worrisome set of its harmful effects towards humans. What is it? Third hand smoke is the set of residual compounds that are left over from used cigarettes on other items such as carpets, sofas, curtains and all kinds of different fabric. Imagine entering a room or a car and you immediately smell that foul odour of smoked tobacco and/or tar even when no one is smoking at that time. That is third hand smoke. In fact, this smoke residue can even exist on one’s clothing.

So, even if you smoke outside your home, chances are that your family inside the house can still be affected by the harmful chemical compounds released from cigarette butts. In fact, the residue can even reach a point in which it cannot be cleaned away from household items just by washing or vacuuming.

Vaping and Pregnancy

Vaping has become a huge trend in Malaysia for the past year or so and we bet you are all wondering if it is safe to vape when around a pregnant woman. Well, to be honest, it is very hard to say at this point as the effects of the different kinds of substances in certain flavours varies vastly. Hence, we advise you to be on the safe side and not do it. Even for those flavours that are nicotine-free.

Conclusively, it really is not advisable in any circumstance whatsoever to either smoke cigarettes or vape around pregnant individuals. Both acts could prove very detrimental to the health of not only the person doing it but also to that of every individual around him/her. As infants and children tend to have underdeveloped immune and defense systems, the health effects they suffer will have even more dire consequences than what would be faced by adults like you and I.

Like this article? Share it! Knowledge is a wonderful thing and it should not be kept to one's self. This piece actually marks what could be the last article I'm writing for GetDoc! it has been a wonderful journey and I hope to share more interesting topics with you all through GetDoc in the near future :D Sayonara!!


Source Credit : CDC, WebMD


by Thiiban

Ambiverted thinker with a big heart and big dreams. Chronically clumsy but always emotionally aware. I truly believe that with every great opportunity comes great responsibility to do great things. View all articles by Thiiban.


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