Thursday February 21, 2019

Smoking Habits May Harm Breastfeeding, Newborns at Risk

Smoking habits have made breastfeeding a severe risk for the newborn

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smoking pregnant lady outside hospital

Women, please take note. New mothers exposed to cigarette smoke in their homes may stop breastfeeding sooner as compared to those who are not exposed to second-hand smoke, a new study suggests.

The study, published in the journal Breastfeeding Medicine, found that exposure to household smokers had a substantial negative effect on breastfeeding practices.

“Our study showed that just being in a smoking household — whether it was the husband, mother or member of the extended family — reduced the time that a child was breast fed,” said lead author Marie Tarrant, professor at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan Campus in Canada.

“In fact, the more smokers there were in the home, the shorter the breastfeeding duration,” Tarrant added.

Smoking affects the health of new-born babies as breastfeeding is not safe.
Smoking affects the health of new-born babies as breastfeeding is not safe.

For the study, the research team involved more than 1,200 women from four large hospitals in Hong Kong.

The researchers found that more than one-third of participants had partners or other household members who smoked. And fathers who smoked were significantly less likely to prefer breastfeeding when compared with non-smoking partners.

“Our study did show that smoking partners may affect the mother’s decision to stop breastfeeding and that paternal and household smoking exposure is strongly associated with a shorter breastfeeding duration,” Tarrant said.

According to the researchers, nicotine is transmitted in the breastmilk to the child and it may reduce the overall quantity of the breastmilk. There is also the concern regarding the environmental exposure of second-hand smoke on the child

Also Read: New Mothers are Now Increasingly Adopting Homeopathic Remedies to Treat Numerous Breastfeeding Difficulties

“We know the effects of environmental tobacco smoke on young babies is very detrimental as babies who are around smoking are more like to get respiratory infections and other experience other respiratory problems,” Tarrant said.

“However, if a mother is breastfeeding, the benefits of her doing that still outweigh the negative effects of the smoking as long as she maintains good smoking hygiene and doesn’t expose the baby to tobacco smoke.” (IANS)

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Excess Smoking Can Not Just Cause Cancer But Also Blindness

Heavy smokers also have reduced ability to discriminate contrasts and colours compared with non-smokers.

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smoking
"Cigarette smoke consists of numerous compounds that are harmful, and it has been linked to a reduction in the thickness of layers in the brain, and to brain lesions, involving areas such as the frontal lobe, which plays a role in voluntary movement and control of thinking, and a decrease in activity in the area of the brain that processes vision," he said. Pixabay

While excessive smoking has been linked to various health issues, including heart disease and cancer, a new study has warned that smoking over 20 cigarettes a day can cause blindness.

The study from the Rutgers University noted that chronic tobacco smoking can have harmful effects on “spatial and colour vision”.

The findings, published in the journal Psychiatry Research, noted significant changes in the smokers’ red-green and blue-yellow colour vision. This suggests that consuming substances with neurotoxic chemicals, such as those in cigarettes, may cause overall colour vision loss.

Heavy smokers also have reduced ability to discriminate contrasts and colours compared with non-smokers.

“Our results indicate excessive use of cigarettes, or chronic exposure to their compounds, affects visual discrimination, supporting the existence of overall deficits in visual processing with tobacco addiction,” said Steven Silverstein from the Rutgers’s Behavioral Health Care.

smoking
Heavy smokers also have reduced ability to discriminate contrasts and colours compared with non-smokers. Pixabay

“Cigarette smoke consists of numerous compounds that are harmful, and it has been linked to a reduction in the thickness of layers in the brain, and to brain lesions, involving areas such as the frontal lobe, which plays a role in voluntary movement and control of thinking, and a decrease in activity in the area of the brain that processes vision,” he said.

For the study, the team looked at 71 healthy people who smoked less than 15 cigarettes in their entire lives and 63 people, who smoked over 20 cigarettes a day. The participants were in the 25-45 year age group.

Also Read: Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented: Is It A Good Option?

The study’s findings showed noticeable changes in the red-green and blue-yellow colour vision of the heavy smokers.

Previous studies had also pointed to long-term smoking as doubling the risk for age-related macular degeneration and as a factor causing lens yellowing and inflammation. (IANS)