Smoking cigarettes causes many health problems, including cancers, heart
disease, and lung disease. When a pregnant woman smokes, she puts herself
and her baby at risk. Because the fetus, a developing
infant in the mother's uterus (womb), is in contact
with the mother's bloodstream, any chemicals the mother breathes or ingests
can affect the fetus. This includes tobacco smoke coming from the mother's
smoking or inhaling smoke in the environment (also known as second-hand smoke).
The March 9, 2005, issue of JAMA includes an article
about the harm that smoking during pregnancy can cause.