Yimo Bai New York

Smoking during pregnancy

Smoking during pregnancy can cause many problems for both mother and baby, it's time to sound the alarm to prevent those ignorant mothers from doing this.

Dear Mr./Ms. President,

In the U.S over 20 percent of women smoke. Many of these even keep smoking while they are pregnant. This is already a major health problem, because smoking can be harmful to women's health. But also, it will lead to pregnancy complications and serious health problems in newborns. So I appeal to you to make a large-scale popularization about the harmful effects of smoking for pregnant women. There needs to be more education about the danger of smoking.

Due to the high risk of smoking in pregnant women, it costs the government a lot of money each year. According to the March of Dimes, "reducing smoking prevalence by 1% point would prevent 1,300 low birth-weight babies and save $21 million in direct medical costs in the first year. Over a seven year period, this means the prevention of 57,200 low birth-weight babies and savings of $572 million in direct medical costs." (March of Dimes) This is the amount of money being spent on the medical care for babies born to women who smoked. So Mr./Ms. president I believe most taxpayers will be disappointed if they know their taxes have been wasted in this way, and all this cost originally can be avoided if you can teach those pregnant women to stop smoking.

Smoking can also cause long term health risks for the baby, include lung problems, learning disabilities, and physical growth problems. All these diseases make smoking during pregnancy so risky. Smoking during pregnancy is estimated to account for 10% all infant deaths and 20% low weight on newborns. (American Pregnancy Association)

The habit of smoking will put women at higher risk of more suffering during childbirth. According to one source, "The direct medical costs of a complicated birth are 66% higher for smokers than for non-smokers, reflecting the greater severity of complications and the more intensive care that is required" (Health). A complicated birth brings a lot of pain to women, therefore most likely no one would like to have a complicated birth. But why are there still so many pregnant women willing to risk difficult birth by smoking? In fact the reason why they keep smoking more is due to the ignorance because they don’t know the effects of smoking. So the education is so important to guide them stopping the smoking.

Some people may think that  smoking cessation education alone is not enough to stop these women from smoking. However in fact rates of smoking during pregnancy are at least 12 times higher among women with 9 to 11 years of education (25%) than among women who hold a college degree (2%). (Health) This means more knowledge about harm of smoking during pregnancy can effectively prevent pregnant women from smoking. If a woman knows the statistic of complicated birth rate and health risks to the baby, it will prompt her to quit smoking before pregnancy.

So again I earnestly appeal to you to provide more funding for education about the detriment of smoking during pregnancy. It is important to get pregnant women to take the initiative to quit smoking. Not only for the economic benefit, but most importantly for the health of mothers and newborns.


Yimo Bai