Research Article

Maternal smoking habits and congenital malformations: a population study.

Br Med J 1979; 2 doi: (Published 21 July 1979) Cite this as: Br Med J 1979;2:171

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  1. D R Evans,
  2. R G Newcombe,
  3. H Campbell


    Maternal smoking habits in 67 609 singleton pregnancies were examined. The overall incidence of congenital malformations was 2.8% in both non-smokers and smokers. On analysing congenital defects according to individual systems there was no significant difference in the incidence of malformations according to the number of cigarettes smoked, except for neural tube defects. Further analysis, taking social class into account, showed that neural tube defects were less common in non-smokers in social classes I and II. This study suggests that maternal smoking does not have teratogenic effects in the offspring, except in the case of neural tube defects, where the effect is at most modest.