The aim of this research project is to test the hypothesis that “Tobacco smoking is adversely affecting the health of unborn babies among pregnant women in Barking and Dagenham” Smoking pregnant women appear to be more vulnerable than non smoking pregnant women to many adverse consequences of tobacco smoking. Smoking during pregnancy is associated with many fatal and neo-natal problems such as low birth weight, pre-term delivery, placenta damage, miscarriage, and sudden-infant-death syndrome. It can also be the cause of respiratory problems such as chest infections and can aggravate asthma in young babies. Smoking pregnant women achieve higher concentrations of nicotine and carbon monoxide in their blood and become more impaired than non smoking pregnant women after smoking equivalent amounts of tobacco.
The study has used primary and secondary research to obtain its findings. The questionnaire albeit a very small cross section of the population, established that tobacco use is more prevalent among smoking pregnant women than non smoking pregnant women in Barking and Dagenham. In my survey, 60 percent of tobacco smoking pregnant women reported consume cigarette, 200 percent smoke cigars, 10 percent pipe tobacco, and 10 percent of other types of tobacco per day on average.
The secondary research was based on studies and surveys that the the number of pregnant women who smoke has been falling steadily in recent years. No one can deny that quitting smoking it is a difficult process. Even so, many pregnant women give up smoking for good during pregnancy. Moreover, pregnant women who give up smoking early in pregnancy and who receive encouragement from their partners and from midwives are most likely to be successful in becoming permanent non-smokers.
This research project will be discussing the hypothesis that “Tobacco smoking is adversely affecting the health of unborn babies among pregnant women”. The expression adversely is defined within the literature review, using evidence from secondary source material. It will debate the reasons, affects, consequences, disadvantages of tobacco smoking among pregnant women and Government advice and consequence of tobacco and how harmful it is to babies and their health. In addition to this material, a small scale research component has been included which leads to an evaluation of both the primary and secondary sources.
In December 1998, the Department of Health published Smoking Kills – a White Paper on tobacco, which set out practical measures to reduce smoking among men, women, children and most particular women with pregnancy. – Office for national statistics 2008 – 2009, smoking related behaviour and attitude.
Smoking is the inhalation of the smoke of burning tobacco encased in cigarettes, pipes, and cigars. Many health experts now regard habitual smoking as a psychological addiction, too, and one with serious health consequences. – McCoy. K, Tobacco smoking – page 226.
For some people it’s because they believe that they can’t live without the effects of smoking, such as relieving stress and giving pleasure. For others it’s because smoking is associated with fun and social activities, such as a break from work or meeting with friends in the pub. – McConoile. B, Women and pregnancy – part 3- page 196.
Everyone has different reasons for smoking and tobacco is used to fill many needs. Some of the key reasons are the physical, emotional and psychological effects that cigarettes have; they can also be used as a tool when socialising. – Fintan O’ Toole, – Health correspondent Article- Life & Style, The Guardian –19/12/2008.
Smoking is used as a way to suppress uncomfortable feelings, and smoking is used to alleviate stress, calm nerves, and relax. No wonder that when you are deprived of smoking, your mind and body are unsettled for a little while. – (Kirkup, J, Daily Telegraph – 22 February 2008, smoking and hazards.
The habit of cigarette smoking is often used to tranquilize emotional issues like anxiety, stress, or low self-esteem. In addition, smoking provides comfort to people with conditions of chronic pain and depression. Smokers with emotional stress or chronic pain often turn to smoking as an attempt to treat their pain. – Dr. Annette, October 15, 2009, why people smoke cigarettes.
Smokers often say that lighting up a cigarette can calm their nerves, satisfy their cravings, and help them feel energized. Indeed, nicotine in tobacco joins on to receptors in your brain that release “feel good” chemicals that can make you feel calm and energized all at once. Smoking acts as a drug, inducing a feeling of well-being with each puff. – Chorlton. P, Life Quality Management – page 89.
Smoking is a way to avoid feeling unpleasant emotions such as sadness, grief, and anxiety. It can hide apprehensions, fears, and pain. This is accomplished partly through the chemical effects of nicotine on the brain. – Moor. S, The Journal – 23 March 2006.
According to a study carried at the University of Nottingham by the Genetics of Pre-Eclampsia Consortium, pregnant women who smoke put the lives of their unborn babies at risk. This study was funded by the British Heart Foundation and strongly supports the opinion of many leading experts who advise that expectant mothers should quit smoking whilst pregnant.- NHS, Information Centre, September 28, 2006, Statistics on NHS Stop Smoking Services.
Out of the total 1001 women, 38.8 percent smokers delivered premature babies as compared to 21.3 percent of non-smokers. 46.1 percent of smokers delivered low birth weight babies when compared to 27.9 percent non-smokers. 65.6 percent of smokers delivered babies with adverse conditions when compared to 60 percent of former smokers and 50.4 percent of non-smokers – Heath Express, December 5 2008, smoking and pre-eclampsia
The most recent CDC survey (from 2008) showed that more than 1 in 6 American women aged 18 years or older (18.3%) smoked cigarettes. The highest rates were seen among American-Indian and Alaska-Native women (22.4%), followed by white (20.6%), African-American (17.8%), Hispanic (10.7%), and Asian women (4.7%). CDC – women’s health – publications and material (1999), smoking among pregnant women.
Smoking during pregnancy is associated with many fatal and neo-natal problems such as low birth weight, pre-term delivery, placenta damage, miscarriage, and sudden-infant-death syndrome. It can also be the cause of respiratory problems such as chest infections and can aggravate asthma in young children. CDC – women’s health – publications and material (1999), smoking among pregnant women.
Tobacco use accounts for nearly 1 in 3 cancer deaths. Tens of thousands of women will die this year from lung cancer, which has shot past breast cancer as the leading cause of cancer death among women. Almost 90% of these lung cancer deaths will be due to smoking. ACS, March 2001, Women and Smoking
When the mother smokes, so does the baby. Smokers take in poisons such as nicotine and carbon monoxide (the same gas that comes out of a car’s exhaust pipe). These poisons get into the placenta, which is the tissue that connects the mother and the baby before it is born. These poisons keep the
unborn baby from getting the food and oxygen needed to grow. Partnerships for a Tobacco- free Maine, 2010, Parent – smoking among pregnant women.
New studies show that if a woman’s partner smokes near her during her pregnancy, there are added risks. It is best for the mother, baby, and entire family to quit tobacco. If family and friends continue to smoke the pregnant mother should ask them not to smoke near her. Lungs UK, 2010; Mothers – smoking among pregnant women.
Due to smoking habits among pregnant women, about 4000 fatal deaths occur every year. It also includes miscarriages. Smoking among pregnant women also leads to premature births, low birth weight, cot death and asthma. In addition smoking is also associated with learning difficulties among children whose mothers smoke during pregnancy, which is yet another good reason why women who are pregnant should consider giving up. Heath Express, December 5 2008, smoking and pre-eclampsia.
Women who smoke greatly increase their risk of heart disease (the leading killer among women) and stroke. Risk goes up with the number of cigarettes smoked and the length of time a woman has been smoking. Even though most of the women who die of heart disease are past menopause, smoking increases the risk more in younger women than in older women. ACS, March 2001, Women and Smoking.
Heart disease and diseases of the blood vessels (cardiovascular disease) are more common in women who smoke than in those who don’t. Research indicates that women who smoke and also use hormonal contraceptives have a particularly high risk of developing heart disease or blood clots that can lead to stroke. eHealth MD, 2000, smoking, alcohol, and pregnancy.
Cigarette smoking remains the leading preventable cause of death in UK. One out of five smokers, following a gruelling history of lung diseases including: pneumonia, emphysema, bronchitis and COPD with eventually die from cancer associated with smoking. – Champix – 2008, stop smoking and champix.
Smoking also increases the risk of many other types of cancer other than lung cancer, including cancers of the throat, mouth, pancreas, kidney, bladder, breast, and cervix. Heart Attacks, individuals that smoke are six times more likely to experience a heart attack when compared to individuals that choose not to smoke. – Powell. J, drug Abuse (Emotional Health Issues 2007) page 27.
Smoking also promotes the development free radicals which are highly unstable molecules that cause disease and damage to cell DNA. The cells of your body start behaving erratically producing a range of responses that make your skin age faster. – BBC News,Thursday, 28 December, 2006, Cigarettes Smoking effects.
If you smoke more than a 1/2 pack of cigarette per day for over six months you have a one in three chance that you will not perform to previous levels in the bedroom, inability to perform, inability to a achieve, inability to maintain an erection. – Lamb. K, Health Issue 2001, Cigarettes smoking.
Research carried out by Oxford University estimated that smoking cost the NHS in the UK £5.2 billion in 2005/06, approximately 5.5% of total healthcare costs4. This updates the estimated cost of between £1.4 and £1.5 billion a year, estimated by research carried out by the Oxford University. – Statistics, Health, 2001, Smoking Related Behaviour & Attitudes.
In 2008, it is estimated that almost one in five deaths in England of people over 35 years of age were due to smoking. Over a third of all deaths from respiratory diseases and almost three in ten of all deaths from cancers in this population are estimated to be caused by smoking. A higher proportion of smoking attributed deaths were seen for men compared to women.– Oxford Journal, 2008, Volume 105, Number 41, Cancer Risk for Smoker.
Dr Miriam Stoppard said “Pregnancy can be a particularly difficult time to stop smoking – and rather than stigmatising these women, we should be guiding them to their local NHS Stop Smoking Service for expert advice and support”. BBC News, Wednesday, 4 February 2009, Health, pregnant smokers ‘fear criticism’.
The total number of successful quitters delivered by NHS Stop Smoking Services between 2003/04 and 2005/06 was 832,700. The Department of Health Priorities and Planning Framework (PPF) target of 800,000 successful quitters over this period was achieved.- NHS, Information Centre, September 28, 2006, Statistics on NHS Stop Smoking Services.
The number of women who smoke has been falling steadily in recent years. No one can deny that quitting smoking it is a difficult process. Even so, many women give up smoking for good during pregnancy. eHealth MD, 2000, smoking, alcohol, and pregnancy.
Women who give up smoking early in pregnancy and who receive encouragement from their partners and from midwives are most likely to be successful in becoming permanent non-smokers. BBC News, 2007, Health issue, smoking, and pregnancy.
The Smoking and Health (ASH) and the British Medical Association (BMA) estimate that up to 120,000 men over 30 years old suffer from impotence as a negative effect of smoking. This figure is likely to be very conservative, because it does not include impotence due to previous smoking in men who no longer smoke. Office of the national statistics – 25 April 2010, cigarettes smoking.
The proportion of adults who smoked cigarettes fell substantially in the 1970s and the early 1980s – from 45 per cent in 1974 to 35 per cent in 1982. After 1982 it declined gradually until the early 1990s, levelling out during the 1990s. It then fell smoothly from 28 per cent in 1998/99 to 24 per cent in 2005. – Office of the national statistics – 25 April 2010, cigarettes smoking.
The objective of this research project is to test the hypothesis that, “Tobacco smoking is adversely affecting the health of unborn babies among pregnant women”. With the use of primary and secondary research to test the above mentioned hypothesis, there will be an emphasis on relevant literature such as journals, studies, surveys and statistics, both independent and governmental. In addition to this literature, the project’s questionnaire will add another dimension to the research giving it more essence and making it more satisfactory. The outcome of the project is to have basic knowledge and awareness of the danger of tobacco smoking to pregnant women who smokes and also the dangerous effect to the unborn babies.
The research project shall engross both primary and secondary research and then evaluate both sources and produce a conclusion of results.
The primary research will consist of a questionnaire, the unexpended anonymous is to protect the identity of the participants. Consequently, making them feel comfortable so that their answers will be as frank as possible. When all the gathered information is collected, comparisons can be made to determine my hypothesis. “Tobacco smoking is adversely affecting the health of unborn babies among pregnant women on”.
There will only be a small sample of questionnaires to process the results. Therefore, it will not be a true reflection of society and its trends. The results from the survey will not have any significance on a national level, although, the participants do come from verity backgrounds and a range of nationalities.
The study for secondary research will be produced from pertinent literature that will be reviewed and documented, the use of applicable radio and television programs and appropriate web sites. By using these informative mediums a deeper understanding and better insight into this much argued topic will be gained.
In the process of carrying out this research, a lot of issues were put into consideration especially the ethnicity and nationality of respondents.
The primary research consisted of the 15 questionnaires being distributed, 12 smoking pregnant women responded showing their ages to range from 18 to 40 years and 8 another non smoking pregnant women responded also showing their ages to range form 18 – 40 years. The survey report presents the finding of research into young women excessive drinking in Barking and Dagenham. In recent years there has been rising concern about the prevalence of smokers’ behaviour, especially among pregnant women.
Smoking among pregnant women has also increases the risk of many other types of diseases that have led to the death of their babies. Smoking habits among pregnant women is intolerable, about 4000 fatal deaths occur every year. It also includes miscarriages. Smoking among pregnant women also leads to premature births, low birth weight, cot death and asthma. In addition smoking is also associated with learning difficulties among children whose mothers smoke during pregnancy, which is yet another good reason why women who are pregnant should consider giving up.
The structure of the questionnaire was to establish where and how pregnant women indulge in tobacco smoking, daily intake of tobacco, consequences of tobacco and the awareness of the affect of tobacco to their unborn babies, and the medical efforts and advice to reduce frequent intake of tobacco among pregnant women.
The research shows that majority of pregnant women goes into smoking because of various reasons. My research shows that pregnant women smoke to be sociable with their friends, boredom, stress, relaxation, parent influence and also family influence.
According to the result of my research, sixty percent agreed that they were suffering from the side effect of smoking tobacco. Majority of them complained of various illness and side effect of tobacco such as: constant headache, coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing mucus or blood, dry and wet cough, fever, chest discomfort, foetal development problems, and brain damage and other severe complication to unborn child, according to pregnant women.
The research also shows that the respondents who filled out my questionnaire agreed that they have loss their dear ones through tobacco smoking either by asthma, cancer, coronary artery disease, heart disease, stroke, lungs disease, complication during pregnancy and many other diseases resulting from tobacco smoking.
The hypothesis has been proven through this evidence produced in the primary and secondary research that tobacco smoking is unavoidable, and it will be extremely difficult to outlaw it in the society. The only possible solution to this problem is to continue to make general publication about the severe influence and the harms it can cause to their foetus and the unborn babies.
Age Range that Smoke during pregnancy
Tobacco Consumption during Pregnancy
Ranges of Smoking and Non Smoking during Pregnancy
Reasons for Smoking
Frequency of Smoking during Pregnancy
Types of Tobacco Smoking by Pregnant Women
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