While you might not think that cigarette usage is still prominent in the 21st century, many people still have an addiction to nicotine. The numbers may have decreased over the years, but people are still finding relief in taking a puff from cigarettes - specifically pregnant women. In fact, females going through pregnancy who choose to smoke continue to put the health of their unborn children at risk, according to Reuters.
A new study that looked at teenagers between ages 12 and 15 focused on their sense of hearing and how it was tied to their time in the womb. The researchers discovered that teens with mothers who smoked while carrying them were more likely to live with hearing impairment. This raises the concern for mothers who choose to continue using cigarettes during fetal development.
"There are also toxins in the cigarettes as well that we don't even know necessarily what those are and what the effects of those are," Josef Shargorodsky, M.D., from Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Brigham and Women's Hospital, told the news source. "There are so many other risks of smoking in pregnancy. Preventing exposures is the most important thing."
While there isn't much teens can do about what their mothers did while they were still developing, experts are urging the education of how to prevent further hearing damage. Identifying hearing loss in adolescents early might also be able to reduce the impact of the situation.
How smoking can affect your pregnancy
For years, health experts have been advising moms-to-be to stay away from cigarettes, and for good reason. As the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated, smoking can cause the baby to be born prematurely, which can result in complications such as low birth weight. Mothers who choose to quit while pregnant can help their babies by ensuring that they get enough oxygen delivered to them in the womb. This can reduce the chances of a stillbirth and various health defects.
Nicotine can be a powerful drug, and it can be challenging for anyone to quit - not just expectant mothers. For this reason, it's a good idea to speak to your doctor once you find out you're pregnant about ways to quit.
How have you kicked the habit in the past? What was most challenging about quitting cigarettes? Leave your feedback in the comments section!