Skip to content
News / March 12, 2014

Pregnant women smokers given warnings

by Guy Hiscott

Babies are more likely to be born with a facial deformity if mothers-to-be continue to smoke during pregnancy, according to new research.

Women who smoke during pregnancy have a one in two chance of having a baby with a failure of the upper lip or the palate.

And more than one in 10 (12.7%) of pregnant women are smokers at delivery, according to the Health & Social Care Information Centre.

Siobhan Kelleher, a dental hygienist in Glanmire, Cork, encourages awareness of tobacco’s side effects on No Smoking Day (12 March): ‘Smoking is addictive and we must support, empathise and provide smoking cessation programmes for these women.

‘In my experience, nobody really wants to be a smoker anyway, so we have to reach them early.’

Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, says: ‘Smoking cessation services need to be targeted at women from poorer backgrounds who are more likely to smoke.

‘If we are educating people on the risks posed by smoking, this could help to reduce the growing number of mouth cancers too.’

Boots Ireland recently initiated a ‘stop smoking’ service with Operation Transformation, available at Boots pharmacies throughout Ireland. Read the original news story here.

The research was conducted at the Office of the General Surgeon in the US.

Follow @IrishDentistry on Twitter for the latest Irish dental news and updates