Maternal smoking during pregnancy has been proven to have many consequences on pregnancy including infertility, bleeding problems during the neonatal period, and obstetric complications such as extrauterine pregnancy, or pregnancy resulting from gestation elsewhere than in the uterus.
In order to determine whether maternal smoking had a genotoxic effect on amniotic cells, researchers analyzed chromosomal instabilities and looked at whether any chromosomal regions are especially affected by exposure to tobacco. Cells in the amniotic fluid were obtained by routine amniocentesis in 25 controls and 25 women who smoked 10 or more cigarettes a day for 10 or more years. The women were asked to fill out a smoking questionnaire about their habits.
After comparing genetic data, researchers say they found that the proportion of structural abnormalities in smokers was about 12 percent, whereas it was about 4 percent in non-smokers. Thus in conclusion researchers say the increase in chromosomal abnormalities resulting from the genotoxic effect of tobacco could be indicative of an increased cancer risk, especially childhood cancers.