A new study recently published in the journal "Pediatrics" offers a dire warning to pregnant smokers everywhere. Scientists have uncovered reasons to believe that smoking while pregnant doubles the chance of sudden, unexpected infant death. The research is just the latest study in a decades-long effort to publicize the many health risks associated with smoking tobacco, especially for pregnant mothers whose children may be impacted by the harsh chemicals in cigarettes.

The study was conducted in an effort to render greater scientific legitimacy to anti-smoking campaigns, which have been faced with the rising popularity of vaping devices like Juul products. Researchers analyzed data from the Center for Disease Control collected between 2007 and 2011 and quickly uncovered a sinister fact: the chance of death for infants rises by .07 percent for each individual cigarette smoked. This means that even mild tobacco use could gravely endanger the lives of mothers and their children.

Stop smoking

The authors noted that smoking cessation must begin before pregnancy occurs if mothers want to avoid dangerous health effects for their children. Claiming that sudden unexpected infant death (SUID) could be drastically reduced in the United States if no mothers smoked tobacco at all, the authors of the study help reinforce the jarring statistic that about 3,500 babies die unexpectedly in the U.S.

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every year, according to the CDC.

Mothers who are heavy smokers are taking a particularly serious risk; the study asserts that those who smoke at least one pack of cigarettes per day see their baby’s risk of SUID nearly triple compared to the risk of infants from nonsmokers. Even mild cutbacks as recommended by a surrogacy agency to the amount of tobacco ingested every day has positive impacts on pregnant women. Pregnant women who reduced the amount they smoked by the third trimester saw a 12 percent decrease in the risk for SUID, for instance.

The author of the study stressed that even mild changes to tobacco consumption habits can have a drastic impact on the overall longevity of newborn children. This supports claims made by medical professionals around the nation, who routinely advise patients to cut tobacco from their lives entirely.

Reduce how much you smoke

“Every cigarette counts," lead study author Tatiana Anderson told CNN in an interview.

She added that doctors should talk to their patients, telling them to quit. "That's your best odds for decreasing sudden infant death." She said that even reducing how much you smoke goes a long way for all smokers.

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