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Cigarettiquette: What Are the Rules on Babies and Cigarettes?

Photograph by Splash News

Big news! ScarJo is preggers! Sure, she told Elle UK as recently as December 2012, “I’m not having kids anytime soon,” but Scarlett Johansson and fiancé Romain Dauriac have a little one on the way. Of course every guy and gal have the right to change his or her minds—as well as adjust lifestyles dramatically. Congratulations to the happy couple taking the plunge into parenthood and all that growing and raising a little one entails.

So why is Dauriac smoking in this photo?

RELATED: Smoking During Pregnancy Shockingly Common

It’s been three years since I last had a kid, but unless things have changed, ScarJo’s main squeeze needs a little lesson in Cigarettiquette. Study after study (including a recent study which appeared in the journal Tobacco Control) proves that pregnant women who don’t smoke but breathe in large amounts of secondhand smoke, have higher rates of miscarriages, stillbirths and ectopic pregnancies than women who aren’t subject to breathing in smoke while pregnant.

So what are the rules on cigarettes and pregnant ladies?

Don’t smoke if you’re pregnant, and don’t smoke around a pregnant lady.

Here’s why:

1. According to the study in Tobacco Control, pregnant women exposed to high levels of secondhand smoke have a 17 percent higher risk of miscarriage than women not exposed to cigarette smoke.

Sure, not every baby born to a smoker is born with problems, but why risk it?

2. Pregnant women exposed to high levels of secondhand smoke have a 55 percent higher risk for stillbirth than women not exposed to cigarette smoke.

3. Pregnant women exposed to high levels of secondhand smoke have a 61 percent higher risk of ectopic pregnancy than women who aren’t exposed to secondhand smoke while pregnant.

4. According to Healthychildren.org, pregnant women who are exposed to large amounts of secondhand smoke have babies who are also at higher risk for SIDS, attention problems, learning disabilities in school and lower birth weight.

Cruise through the Internet, and there’s always somebody on some Web site confessing that they never really quit smoking while pregnant. A real die-hard smoker might even pull the, “No one can judge someone else’s choices, we all have to do what’s best for ourselves and our family,” justification for smoking while pregnant or for hanging out with smokers while pregnant. But if the research is true, these people are terribly misguided. And in my opinion, terribly selfish.

RELATED: E-Cigarettes at a Playdate? Really?

Sure, not every baby born to a smoker is born with problems, but why risk it? There are so many things you can’t control when you’re pregnant, like genetics, why not control the ones you can?

So next time people light up around you and your pregnant belly, you should feel comfortable asking them to put it out or smoke elsewhere. Hopefully, Scarlett will too.

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