Second-hand smoke and rates of breastfeeding

Second-hand (passive) smoking has adverse effects on children's health and is associated with an increase in the risk of sudden infant death, middle ear disease, meningitis and admission to hospital for respiratory disease. It is also evident that non-smoking mothers are nearly three times as likely to exclusively breastfeed as mothers who smoke. This is likely a reflection of an association between smoking and other social and cultural factors. 

In 2008, 42.6% of non-smoking mothers exclusively breastfed their babies, compared with 14.8% of mothers who smoked. A similar pattern is seen in the overall breastfeeding rate and across maternal age groups and deprivation categories.

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