, Volume 271, Issue 1, pp 6-10
Date: 11 Aug 2004

Labor analgesia for the tobacco and ethanol abusing pregnant patient: a routine management?

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Illicit substance use in pregnancy has received significant media attention over the past 25 years. However, far too little attention has been given to the consequences of the use/misuse of social drugs such as tobacco and ethanol, which are by far the most commonly used/misused substances in pregnancy.


While the deleterious effects of amphetamines or cocaine on the mother and the fetus are more pronounced and easier to detect, the addiction to tobacco and ethanol is usually subtle and more difficult to diagnose. As a result, recreational use of tobacco and alcohol in pregnancy may continue undetected, significantly impacting pregnancy outcome and the peripartum management of these patients.