This study indicates that tobacco smoking by the mother is associated with a significant reduction of the newborn's size. This effect cannot be explained by either an association of the smoking habit with malformation, premature birth, exaggerated consumption of coffee matrimonial status or paternal smoking, or by a combination of malformation, prematurity and any one of the other factors. The effect is also unrelated to the continuation or discontinuation of smoking during pregnancy. Paternal smoking seems to be associated with a reduced weight in children born to nonsmoking mothers.
PIP: Between 1972 and 1974 202 cases of congenital malformation were reported among 17,970 live births in different hospitals. 175 control were compared with the group of malformed children for such factors as smoking habits of parents prior and during gestation, coffee consumption, social characteristics, and birth weight, height and head circumference of children. Aim of the study was to investigate the possible association among these factors. Tobacco smoking was not associated with the presence of malformations, but with a significant reduction in newborn size. The average birth weight of chidren born to nonsmokers was 3250 g., as compared to 3028 g. for children born to smokers. The height difference was 1.30 cm., and the head circumference difference 0.93 cm., all significant differences. This effect cannot be explained by an association of the smoking habit with malformation, premature birth, consumption of coffee, marital status or paternal smoking, or by a combination of malformation, prematurity, or any of the other factors. none of these modifications are significant. The effect of coffee on size deserves further investigation, as it does the possible association between paternal smoking and a reduction in weight of children born to nonsmoking mothers.