Mothers-to-be who smoke during pregnancy are severely increasing the chance of their baby being born with facial deformities.

The Office of the General Surgeon in the US suggests smoking during pregnancy gives women a one in two chance of having a baby with a failure of the upper lip or the palate that did not properly develop during the foetus’ development.

Statistics from Health & Social Care Information Centre reveal 12.7% of pregnant women are smokers at delivery.

‘Any amount of cigarette smoking during pregnancy significantly increases the risk of having a child with health problems,’ Dr Nigel Carter, said.

‘Cigarettes aren’t an easy thing to give up.

‘Research has shown this.

‘Smoking cessation services needed to be targeted at women from poorer backgrounds who are more likely to smoke.

‘Young boys as well as girls also need to be told about the risks of smoking, particularly during pregnancy.’

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