n South African Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology - Harmful effects of smoking in pregnancy : editorial




Extracted from text ... September 2005, Vol. 11, No. 3 51 SAJOG Exposure of the fetus to cigarette smoke is an important, dose-related and preventable risk factor in the quest for optimal pregnancy outcome. It is therefore essential that all health care workers and mothers are fully aware of these adverse effects. Nicotine, the dominant alkaloid in tobacco smoke, easily crosses the placenta, leading to fetal plasma concentrations on average 15% higher than those of the mother.1 Nicotine also concentrates in placental tissue, amniotic fluid and breast-milk. Amniotic nicotine levels in the mid-trimester are up to 54% higher than those in maternal serum. The ..


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