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Help offered for pregnant women to quit smoking
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MONROE - January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month, and this year members of the Southwest Alliance for Tobacco Prevention are encouraging all pregnant women who smoke to kick their addiction. Quitting tobacco comes with numerous benefits for both mother and child, but health advocates say it is especially relevant to the birth defects conversation because smoking during pregnancy can cause birth defects like cleft lips and/or cleft palates (which means the lip or palate does not form completely). The carbon monoxide in cigarettes also keeps the fetus from getting enough oxygen, which can lead to tissue damage in the fetus, particularly in the lungs and brain.