Will Carla Bruni be Putting her New Baby’s Health at Risk?

“Frankly, I cannot stand it. I have to stay sitting or lying most of the time, cannot smoke or drink wine. I cannot wait for it to end.”

This comment to French magazine, La Parisien, is from French First Lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy about her current pregnancy. The 43-year-old former model is due at the beginning of October.

Say it ain’t so Carla! You want to go back to smoking???

What Carla (and You) Need to Know about Second Hand Smoke and Children

According to the Environmental Protection Agency and The National Cancer Institute:

1.  Among the more than 7,000 chemicals that have been identified in secondhand tobacco smoke, at least 250 are known to be harmful, for example, hydrogen cyanide, carbon monoxide, and ammonia.

2.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. National Toxicology Program, the U.S. Surgeon General, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer have all classified secondhand smoke as a known human carcinogen (a cancer-causing agent). Second hand smoke can cause cancer!

3.  There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Even low levels of secondhand smoke can be harmful.

4.  Breathing secondhand smoke can be harmful to children’s health including asthma, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), bronchitis and pneumonia, and ear infections.

5.  Children’s exposure to secondhand smoke is responsible for:

  •  increases in the number of asthma attacks and severity of symptoms in 200,000 to 1 million children with asthma;
  • between 150,000 and 300,000 lower respiratory tract infections (for children under 18 months of age); and,
  • respiratory tract infections resulting in 7,500 to 15,000 hospitalizations each year.

The lungs of young children are more severely affected by exposure to secondhand smoke for several reasons:

  • children are still developing physically
  • have higher breathing rates than adults
  • have little control over their indoor environments

Children receiving high doses of secondhand smoke, such as those with smoking mothers, run the greatest risk of damaging health effects.

So come on Carla, you’ve already stopped smoking. Why start now? You can still have a glass of wine…
Photo Source: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Michele R. Berman, M.D. was Clinical Director of The Pediatric Center, a private practice on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. from 1988-2000, and was named Outstanding Washington Physician by Washingtonian Magazine in 1999. She was a medical internet pioneer having established one of the first medical practice websites in 1997. Dr. Berman also authored a monthly column for Washington Parent Magazine.

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