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  • Writer's pictureProf Rotimi Jaiyesimi

Smoking ban linked to drop in stillbirths and other health benefits

Babies dying inside the womb (stillbirths) have dropped by almost eight per cent in England since the smoking ban was introduced, research from Edinburgh University shows. The number of babies dying shortly after birth has also dropped by almost eight per cent, the study estimates.


Almost 1500 stillbirths and newborn deaths were averted in the first four years after the law to prohibit smoking in public places was introduced. There was a reduction in babies born with low birth weight. The number of children being admitted to hospital for asthma attacks and severe respiratory infections has also fallen since the bans.


The findings add to growing evidence that anti-smoking laws have had significant benefits for infant and child health. Smoking and smoke-exposure during pregnancy are known to have long-term adverse effects on the health of unborn children, including increased risk of diabetes and heart disease when these babies become adults. It is for this reason, among others, that the tobacco ban in Nigeria must be enforced. Citizens must be encouraged to stop smoking through smoking cessation services.

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