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Nearly half of pregnant Japanese women continue smoking: survey


5 Feb 2005
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I found this article the other day, and wonder what you guys think about it. My brother in law, and his wife smoke even though they have a child (they do smoke outside and with windows open, but still). She even smoked when she was pregnant.

I really hope my wife will stop smoking when she will become pregnant and the years after that. So what do you guys think about it?

Here's the article:
(Kyodo) _ Nearly half of female smokers in Japan continue smoking during pregnancy, though most are aware of the danger of secondhand smoke to children, according to a recent survey by drug maker Pfizer Japan Inc.

Of 300 female smokers with preschool children polled via the Internet in March, only 137 succeeded at stopping smoking while pregnant. Forty-two failed to refrain from smoking midway through their pregnancy, merely reducing the amount they smoked.

Combined with those who failed to stop smoking and who did not attempt to do so, 136 women continued to smoke while pregnant, accounting for 45.3 percent of the respondents.

The survey, which also covered 300 male smokers with preschool children, also found that households with mothers who smoke have a higher percentage of smoking at home and while driving in the presence of their children than those with only fathers who smoke.

Underlining the findings, 38.7 percent of the mothers polled said they choose nonsmoking seats at restaurants when dining with children in contrast to 43.7 percent of the fathers.

More than 80 percent of the mothers and fathers said they do not want their children to smoke, though about 70 percent acknowledged that their smoking will lead their children to do so, according to the survey.



30 Apr 2007
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I don't know how deeply cancer has set into the Japanese societal subconscious yet but since most live relatively healthy lives and Japan is renowned for its life expectancy it's probably viewed as genuinely not a health concern like we'd view it in the West. The women probably don't see it as a major risk. My cousin has a 5 year old and a baby, she does the same thing. She does it away from them but still. Health overall has a different pattern there, I think. A slim body means you're healthy, despite the fact that you may smoke and eat at Lotteria everyday at lunch.

Mars Man

Rest in Peace
28 Jul 2005
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As far as I have looked into and learned anything on this matter, it seems to be a rather potential danger to smoke during pregnancy. It does not appear to be as high a risk as drinking alcohol, however.

After birth, the damage that second hand smoke can do is quite well established, with only a small margin for error in studies--so it seems. The matter of second hand smoke is what I would be more concerned about. Just how the rate, as reported on by that survey, holds up against what a similar suryvey would produce in other western countries, I have no idea, but I would say that the tabacco industry here, has been very little damaged by research into such health factors.

While I think it would be wrong to say that the Japanese public does not get 'fear cancer' campaignes thrown at them--especially elderly folks--the seemingly lack of concern of cancer caused from smoking is ironic. (in another way of looking at it, however, it can be said to be very 'Japanese'--that ironic-ness)

While at our university here, there has been a campaign on 'smoking manners' (the president is very much against smoking, due to the health concern--primarily of second hand smoke) which has been pushing smokers to smoke only in outside designated areas, the number of in-coming students who smoke seems to be increasing ! (and are becoming a little less controlable)

I hope your wife, Dutch Baka, is able to work at preventing too much second hand smoke after you have children. (or even for you--if you do not smoke yourself) I'd guess we'd have to allow some--balance--since there are environmental dangers in the air besides just second hand smoke, and we should try not to pin the the elephant's and lion's tail on the donkey as well. . .

Interesting article and nice share. Thanks !! MM


10 Aug 2006
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I think she should quit now if you are trying to conceive a baby. Why would you want to try and create a life while inhaling toxic chemicals? There are so many in cigarette smoke. My grandmother who smoked unfiltered cigarettes actaully stopped when she decided to start a family and that was back in the 40's because she knew it was bad. Anyway, that's just my opinion, and although I don't smoke I drink at 5-6 cups of coffee a day and diet pepsi, so I am probably just as chemical filled!
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