Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Smoking and Tobacco

Smoking

03/30/2009

Question:

My mother in law has been smoking for so long till now.I have a daughter who was diagnosed with congenital heart disease just after she was born. My question is When I`m trying to conceive a baby and became pregnant, during those times my husband and I are sleeping on the family room because at that time we dont have a place to stay. My mother in law is always smoking inside the house right on the kitchen and every morning when I woke and feel like out of breath and then I saw her smoking. Is it possible that by second hand smoking that can cause why my daughter has a congenital heart defect? I`m healthy and I dont have any sickness that I can think of and I take folic acid everyday so that I can have a healthy baby but the result is not a healthy as I wanted to be on my baby.

Answer:

I'm so sorry about your daughter. Modern medicine has made huge strides in treating congenital heart disease and I hope she, like many others, does well and lives a full and healthy life.

I am wondering a bit why you ask and what purpose it will serve in knowing now? Secondhand smoke does cause a lot of problems for babies exposed during the pregnancy. I am sure that if you had told your doctor about your risk, he or she would have advised you to avoid any exposure.

Secondhand smoke exposure during pregnancy increases the risk for prematurity, low birthweight, miscarriage, diminished lung function, sudden infant death syndrome, behavioral disturbances later in life, and it is associated with congenital heart disease.

However, congenital heart disease has many causes both known and unknown and it is impossible to know if secondhand smoke caused your daughter's disease. Nonetheless, secondhand smoke also harms children and your daughter is especially vulnerable. Smoking around any child is a form of child abuse.

Good luck. Please try to look forward and not blame backward.

For more information:

Go to the Smoking and Tobacco health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Rob  Crane, MD Rob Crane, MD
Clinical Associate Professor of Family Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University