Smoking and Drinking While Pregnant

My wife is smoking while pregnant and is a recovering alcoholic—or at least she was. Her doctor told her to quit smoking immediately and forever and she promised she would. But just a few weeks later she started up again. And she’s started drinking again too. She says she’s only having a few glasses of wine but I’m going nuts with worry and I can’t understand why she would do this to our unborn baby. What can I do?

I generally don’t like to scare people but in cases like these it’s necessary. When a mother-to-be inhales cigarette smoke, her womb fills with carbon monoxide, nicotine, tar, and other gunk that keep the baby from getting the oxygen and nutrients he needs. Sounds healthy, doesn’t it? Your wife’s smoking increases the risk of low-birth-weight babies, miscarriage, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
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Stopping Teen Smoking

Dear Mr. Dad: I just found out that my 14-year-old is smoking. I was stunned. She accused me of “freaking out about nothing” and says she “can quit any time.” Then the big one: “Everybody is doing it.” Is it just a phase, or should I be concerned?

A: Be concerned. Be very concerned. While experimentation and line-crossing are a completely normal part of adolescence, smoking is a serious health issue that you can’t ignore. Let’s take a look at your daughter’s claims one at a time:
First of all, you are not “freaking out about nothing.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and prevention, smoking kills over 430,000 people each year in the U.S. alone. That hardly falls into the “nothing” category.
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