Smoking and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the leading cause of death in the first year of life.Footnote 1 Although there is no known cause for SIDS, research has identified smoking as one of the major preventable risk factors.Footnote 2
Infant bed sharing increases the risk of SIDS, particularly among infants of mothers who smoke.Footnote 8
How does smoking increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome?
Some of the chemicals in tobacco smokeFootnote 9,Footnote 10 alter the development of an infant's brain and the lungs. This in turn affects how an infant breathes and may be responsible for SIDS.Footnote 1,Footnote 5
The benefits of quitting
Women refraining from smoking while pregnant will reduce the risk of death among their newborns during the first 7 days.Footnote 2
Need help to quit? Call the pan-Canadian quitline toll-free at 1-866-366-3667.
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