Pregnant women who can’t quit smoking blame their Genes

Pregnant women who have habit of smoking may have gene that makes it harder for them to quit smoking during pregnancy. Study conducted over 2,500 women smoker revealed the fact that those with addictive gene were up to 66% less likely to quit when they become pregnant. This study showed that why many pregnant women continue to smoke , despite the dangers to their unborn baby.


Smoking during pregnancy can create many complication for unborn like stillbirth , premature birth & having under weight baby. It may also trebles the risk of cot death. Women are more likely to quit smoking during pregnancy than at any time of their lives but up to 80% will stick with the habit. Researchers stressed that expecting women shouldn’t use their gene as an excuse to continue smoking.

They said that woman’s genetic make-up may make it harder for her to quit smoking but it won’t make it impossible. The researchers, from the Peninsula Medical School took the survey over 2.474 women smokers. DNA test showed that 1/3 carried a gene already known to make them smoke heavily. 31% women without gene gave up in the first 3 months of pregnancy , compared to as few as 21% of those with gene.

Towards the end of their pregnancy , the figure had raised to 47% & 34% respectively. ‘Pregnant women are under considerable health and social pressure to stop smoking , and quitting in such circumstances is influenced by a number of factors including the age of the expectant mother, their education and whether or not their partners smoke’, said Dr Rachel Freathy , of the Peninsula Medical School.

He said , ‘We were keen to investigate whether the genetic variant that influences increased cigarette consumption also had a role to play as an extra hurdle to quitting smoking during pregnancy, and our study suggests that it does’ , ‘However, we would not wish our findings to be used as an excuse to avoid giving up smoking during pregnancy.’

Dr Rachel Freathy further said , ‘It is clear from our study that a considerable proportion of women did manage to quit smoking, despite inheriting two addiction copies of the gene’, ‘We stress the importance for all expectant mothers who smoke to make use of the resources available from their GP surgeries, local PCTs and pharmacists in their bid to quit smoking, for the benefit of their health and the health of their unborn children.’

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