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January 3, 1986

Studying reproductive risks, smoking

JAMA. 1986;255(1):22-23. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03370010024004

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No longer can those persons who smoke cigarettes naively assume that their habit harms only themselves, and women and their unborn infants are at special risk.

New warnings from the surgeon general of the Public Health Service, displayed on cigarette packages and in advertisements, attest that in addition to causing lung cancer, heart disease, and emphysema, smoking can complicate pregnancy, resulting in premature birth, low birth weight, and fetal injury.

These risks and others, including a greater risk of infertility, spontaneous abortion, ectopic pregnancy, and earlier menopause, were recently highlighted at the first International Conference on Smoking and Reproductive Health.

The conference, sponsored by Family Health International, Research Triangle Park, NC; the Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta; Office on Smoking and Health, Agency for International Development, and Health Resources and Services Administration, Washington, DC; National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bethesda, Md; University of California, San Francisco; and