When you smoke, your baby gets less oxygen and nutrients This can cause your baby to grow more slowly and gain less weight in your womb. Babies with a lower-than-average birth weight tend to have more health problems. And the more you smoke, the higher the risk that your baby will have complications during the perinatal period (just before, during and just after birth). This is true for babies exposed to second-hand smoke too. Your baby may have learning problems, more ear infections and more colds and breathing problems. Being born small can affect your baby's health into adulthood.
Second-hand smoke contains the same toxic chemicals and carcinogens that smokers inhale. Children regularly exposed to second-hand smoke are at least 50% more likely to suffer damage to their lungs and to develop breathing problems such as asthma. When you breathe in second-hand smoke, you have a greater risk of developing lung cancer, heart disease, breathing problems and irritation of the eyes, lungs and throat.