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Prenatal Smoke Exposure Detectable Years Later

A new study published in Environmental Research, "Presence of an epigenetic signature of prenatal cigarette smoke exposure in childhood", offers strong evidence that prenatal smoke exposure may continue to remain in the body and potentially affect someone’s health for years after birth.

Researchers tested the blood of 531 preschoolers from six different sites in the United States and also spoke to the children’s mothers about whether or not they had smoked during pregnancy. The study found molecular evidence of maternal smoking in children up to age 5.

There are many known effects on babies exposed to cigarette smoke in the womb, including increased risk of low birth-weight and SIDS; however, more research is needed to understand how the lasting impact of prenatal smoke exposure affects children's long-term health and development of chronic conditions, such as obesity and heart disease. 

If you are pregnant and smoke, quitting is the best thing you can do for you and your baby. For support and tools to help you quit, visit the smoking section of our website.

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