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Laws against smoking during pregnancy?

Discussion in 'Tobacco / Nicotine' started by SLTE, Sep 19, 2015.

  1. SLTE

    SLTE Community Champion

    A friend of mine recently raised the question of whether or not there should be a law against pregnant women smoking. Smoking can have some incredibly adverse effects on unborn children - here's a little laundry list of some of the things that can go wrong - and it's virtually never recommended that a pregnant mother should smoke, along the same vein that pregnant women shouldn't drink. Still, though, I'm not sure that an out-and-out ban is the answer.

    What's your opinion? Should there be laws against pregnant women smoking? Or would this go against certain civil liberties? At the very least I think it would be difficult to police.
  2. bsthebenster

    bsthebenster Community Champion

    I agree it would be very difficult to police. I believe the best thing is to make quitting a bit easier for pregnant woman and expecting parents. Maybe the government should make nicotine replacement therapy and other safe treatment free of charge or significantly reduce cost. Most smokers want to quit, giving them the tools to quit would make a difference.
  3. amin021023

    amin021023 Community Champion

    A good mother will never smoke during her pregnancies and if they do the have to be stopped, there definitely should be laws against this. they should make those mothers abort their babies if won't quit.
  4. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    There should be laws against smoking, drinking or using any drugs during pregnancy. Enforcing the law though would be almost impossible because no one will be going around testing all pregnant women for drugs. So while I think the law might be great [and that anyone who breaks it should be locked up until the baby is born] since enforcing it might be hard, protecting unborn babies still would be hard.
  5. L_B

    L_B Community Champion

    Although I think this is a great idea I am not sure how they would be able to enforce it. It really bothers me when I see a pregnant person puffing on a cigarette. It should never happen. It is the poor child that suffers because of it. My daughter had a friend who had severe asthma. It was sad to see her struggling to breath. Her mom was a smoker while she was pregnant with her. The poor girl has to pay for her mom's bad decision the rest of her life.
  6. kgord

    kgord Community Champion

    yes, I think smoking during pregnancy is tanamount to a criminal act. I mean if the desire to give birth to a healthy baby is not motive enough...to quit what is?? I know some babies born to mothers of smokers are fine, others however, have low birthweight and respiratory problems. A former supervisor of mine smoked during her pregnancy and her child was stillborn.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2015
  7. anorexorcist

    anorexorcist Community Champion

    I think that more than a political law, knowing the fact that you shouldn't smoke while you're pregnant needs to be a moral law, sadly there's women who don't really care about this. So I do think that there should be a law against it, because is not only one life that's being put on risk, and there's pretty scary adverse effects as you've mentioned, this needs to be changed.
  8. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    I don't think a ban is the answer at all. How about offering women more support to stop smoking from the moment that they discover they are pregnant? There's plenty of different types of NRT they can try, including e-cigs.
  9. FuZyOn

    FuZyOn Community Champion

    It would be quite difficult to implement a law like this one, but at least the government should raise more awareness when it comes to this case. So many young, soon-to-be mothers leave their addictions untouched, keeping their bad habits throughout pregnancy. You can't fault them, they're either irresponsible or careless.
  10. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    I also don't think banning pregnant women from smoking will work either to be honest. There's enough literature around and stories in the media that proves how smoking can harm a baby, and so if that isn't enough to make a pregnant woman quit, then simply telling her she can't smoke won't make a difference.
  11. Jamesbonner

    Jamesbonner Active Contributor

    Well I think that there should be a law against the pregnan women, and no it won't be against civil liberties but it will be with children rights ! because the baby can't protect him self from the hurting nicotine !
  12. singingintherain

    singingintherain Community Champion

    I think it's a tricky one to make laws about. I can totally understand the intention behind it - protecting the unborn child's rights. Where does the law draw the line though?

    Will it be illegal to smoke around a pregnant woman? How far do you have to be away from her? After all, second hand smoke is still extremely damaging to a fetus. If it is illegal to smoke within 5m of a pregnant woman then how do you know she is pregnant? It's often not obvious that a woman is pregnant. Also, would it still be illegal if a woman had an abortion scheduled for the next day?

    I think it raises more questions than it solves problems. It would be fantastic if everyone could make the correct decision and stick to it by not smoking, but things are not always that simple.
    BreezyB0412 likes this.
  13. SLTE

    SLTE Community Champion

    Yeah, this is pretty much my thinking. It's fine and dandy to just say that smoking among mothers is banned, but there are so many grey areas to tread in the process. Many women don't look pregnant in early stages of pregnancy - some don't even look pregnant in late stages - and such laws could open the door to unfair litigation against smokers. Lord knows new laws almost always get abused.

    Outreach and education are ideal. At least that way mothers who decide to smoke can't claim to be ignorant on the issue. (Though even at this point most mothers shouldn't be ignorant on the harmful effects of smoking, but I suppose it depends on how old you are, and how much research you've done since getting pregnant.)
    singingintherain likes this.
  14. singingintherain

    singingintherain Community Champion

    @SLTE I totally agree. I think that education is one of the most important steps.

    Also, depending on a woman's experience and current situation, a reduction in smoking is better than nothing sometimes. If the woman is having a very stressful time (perhaps with a broken relationship, dealing with emotional situations and/or living arrangements) the stress of quitting smoking on top of that might be dangerous for the pregnancy. I've heard some doctors advise that in certain situations, although obviously being smokefree is the ideal!
  15. BreezyB0412

    BreezyB0412 Member

    I don't think it should be illegal. Plus how would that be enforced? I quit smoking when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, but that was my choice. Short of searching a pregnant womans home for cigarettes I don't see how anyone would ever know. Nor do I think it's really anybodies business.
  16. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    Pregnant women should not be smoking and a law for it could be really hard to enforce. Specially here that even there are city ordinances against smoking in public, there are still lots of smokers around. More if a pregnant woman will smoke in her own property or privately. It is a good thing to have law such that but hard to implement.
  17. Nergaahl

    Nergaahl Community Champion

    Yes, there should be a law prohibiting smoking during pregnancy. After all, if you decide to give birth to and raise a child, why on Earth would you poison him even before he is born? Women like this shouldn't call themselves "mothers" in my opinion, as they don't care about their babies and are ruining their lives. I don't know how the authorities could monitor every cigarette one smokes.
  18. JohnBeaulieu

    JohnBeaulieu Community Champion

    Federal discrimination laws in the USA worded as they are right now make it difficult to even warn a pregnant woman of dangers when it comes to tobacco and alcohol use let alone prohibit it. The warnings carefully worded and placed on signs and packages are the extent of things right now.
  19. JohnBeaulieu

    JohnBeaulieu Community Champion

    A child that is born with or has to grow up with health conditions caused by tobacco or alcohol use during pregnancy might disagree with you.
  20. Jasmine2015

    Jasmine2015 Community Champion

    I think giving the mother tools to help her quit is much easier than trying to police her. The smoking is directly effecting the child since s/he is still physically apart of the mother. It would also be nice of smokers got away from pregnant women when smoking.