Quit Smoking and Save The Children

A video of an Indonesian toddler blowing smoke rings appeared on YouTube in March 2010. The video went viral and was later shown on network TV news stations. People were outraged and the video was later removed from YouTube.

The video revealed a very embarrassing and dangerous fact about Indonesian children. As data from the Central Statistics Agency showed 25 per cent of Indonesian children aged three to 15 have tried cigarettes, with 3.2 per cent of those as active smokers.

Before we rush to judge the people of Indonesia let us remember that – Currently, at least 10 percent of women in the United States smoke during pregnancy [1]. Say what you want about parents who let their children smoke in Indonesia. But a mother who continues to smoke while carrying her unborn child in the womb is just as bad if not worse.

According to the U.S. Public Health Service [4], if all pregnant women in this country stopped smoking, there would be an estimated:

  • 11 percent reduction in stillbirths. (With 27000 stillbirths per year that is 2970 babies lives saved).
  • 5 percent reduction in newborn deaths

Cigarette smoke contains more than 2,500 chemicals. It is not known for certain which of these chemicals are harmful to the developing baby, but both nicotine and carbon monoxide play a role in causing adverse pregnancy outcomes.

  1. Martin, J.A., et al. Births: Final Data for 2004. National Vital Statistics Reports, volume 55, number 1, September 29, 2006.
  2. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking: A Report of the Surgeon General, 2004. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Office on Smoking and Health, Atlanta Georgia, May 2004.

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