Should it be illegal to sell cigarettes or alcohol to pregnant women?

No Smoking - Smoking is harmful to your health and the health of your unborn child if you are pregnant.
@thyst07 (2091)
United States
March 2, 2007 11:34pm CST
I started thinking about this at my job (I serve coffee). Often we get pregnant customers, and I wonder whether it's right for me to give them caffeine, because caffeine can harm an unborn baby. But then I got to thinking, caffeine might be bad, but cigarettes and alcohol are a lot more harmful, and pregnant women are allowed to buy and consume them. So what do you think? Is it right to allow pregnant women to buy and consume things that they know will harm their child?
7 people like this
16 responses
@Mike07 (505)
• United States
3 Mar 07
It may not be right but it's been going on forever, and somehow the race has survived. We just have to trust that people will do the right thing, once the gov't gets involved everything gets clouded and murky, because there are all kinds of side effects to the laws that are passed. Should women go to jail because they are doing things that could harm their unborn kids?
@thyst07 (2091)
• United States
3 Mar 07
That's a good point. Often, laws have latent functions (or effects that we hadn't thought of or expected). It could help solve a problem, or it could have effects that are worse. Jail certainly wouldn't be a positive environment for a growing fetus.
3 people like this
• United States
3 Mar 07
"Should women go to jail because they are doing things that could harm their unborn kids?" You raise a great point. Consider: Abortion. It's murder. Plain and simple. Unless you've been pregnant, or been around someone who was, you can't understand this fact. As long as the government allows abortion, you think they care that pregnant women drink or smoke?
2 people like this
@Tsferrets (421)
• United States
3 Mar 07
NO!!! We have anough do's and don'ts.. We all know the risks and as far as I'm concerned what I want to do I will have to live with the results..What ever they may be..That should be the same for every human being..If we don't have the right to control our own lives and body it's a sad world and one that I don't think would be to enjoyable to live in..The government already has so many rules we can't remember them all..I bet we break at least 10 aday not knowing it..Think about it.. Tammy
2 people like this
@thyst07 (2091)
• United States
3 Mar 07
But what about when somebody else, somebody innocent, has to live with the results of your actions? How is that fair?
1 person likes this
@anonymili (3138)
3 Mar 07
Smoking is harmful to anyone whether or not they're pregnant, I see you're trying to get people to give their opinions so I'll give mine whilst appreciating that you are entitled to yours just as much as I am :) I'm a smoker, have been for over 20 years, I don't have kids, I've never been pregnant, when I was younger I always assumed I would cut down or try to quit completely if I ever got pregnant. I am an adult and have the ability to make the right choices for me. If I don't make the choices then I am to blame if anything should go wrong. I wouldn't want the government banning me from smoking or drinking if I were pregnant unless they were going to ban everyone from doing it full stop. People have the right to personal choice. There is no one out there who thinks smoking is good for their health (now seriously is there?) so they should be aware that it's dangerous when pregnant to do so too, I mean it's plastered all over the ciggy packs in pretty large writing! I'd also mention that similar to a comment above, I've know many people to have a normal pregnancy who smoke and people to have problems with the birth who don't smoke, so I'm not totally convinced it's much more dangerous to smoke than not to smoke, but I'd advise people to err on the side of caution and take their doctor's warnings seriously :)
2 people like this
@thyst07 (2091)
• United States
3 Mar 07
It seems like "choice" always gets brought up in debates over things pertaining to unborn children- but isn't it a little unfair that the child doesn't get a choice in the matter? He or she could potentially live with the effects for the rest of their life, and there's nothing they can do about it. So, not EVERYONE gets a choice.
• United States
3 Mar 07
we don't need any more laws governing our life's....they can harm their unborn child by getting into traffic accidents also, should we ban driving for them also?
2 people like this
4 Mar 07
Very good question. I guess it goes further and you would need to decide whether the baby is actually a person before it is born. If you decide that the unborn baby is a person then could the mother who smokes and drinks whilst pregnant be charged with cruelty to a child? I do agree with others that the government are becoming very controlling as to what we can and cant do - big brother watching n all that. Also, would it make a difference if the woman became pregnant naturally or if she had IVF paid for by the NHS?
1 person likes this
@thyst07 (2091)
• United States
4 Mar 07
That's actually an important consideration. If life begins at conception, and the baby is a human, it's a completely different story that if life begins at birth, or after the second trimester, or whatever.
@LeXDei (209)
• Philippines
3 Mar 07
I have always espoused ones freedom to choose whatever he wants in life. However, I must agree with those advocating that cigs and alchohol should not be sold to women. When the choice is for oneself alone, I guess there must be a great latitude that should be given to him or her in choosing whatever he wants but when there is an innocent child that can be harmed, another person must protect it from harm or anything that will surely endanger the child's very existence.
@thyst07 (2091)
• United States
3 Mar 07
That's kind of what I'm getting at. Everyone has a choice for themselves. But if you made the choice to, say, punch someone on the street and break their nose, you'd go to jail because that choice hurt someone. The choice to drink and smoke while pregnant hurts someone too, but there's no penalty. Unborn children are an unprotected population. And that's really sad.
@kittles (156)
3 Mar 07
Well when I had morning sickness and tea was the only thing that would make it better so I did have it but only like 2 cups a day. If someone denied me of that I would probably be very annoyed as I couldn't get on with my job before I had a cup because it made me feel so bad. And I used to smoke but I stopped for my baby, but I live with my mother in law who smokes heavily (I can smell the smoke and tase it 3 internal floors up!) so it really probably didn't have much difference but I guess it's the thought that counts! It is wrong and very disrespectful to the baby to smoke and drink when it's inside you and has no choice to chose wether it wants its health damaged or not, but I guess that if the goverment stopped this it would be too interferering in people's lives....though in UK they've banned smoking in all public places and thinking about banning it on streets too so I don't see why they shouldn't illigalise it all together it's going a bit too far...
1 person likes this
@thyst07 (2091)
• United States
3 Mar 07
I'm glad you quit for your baby. I don't know if you ever plan on getting pregnant again, but another tip for morning sickness is to take a vitamin b6 supplement. I have several friends who have done this and say it works great. Some states in the US have banned public smoking. Colorado is one of them, which makes me pretty happy because I live in Colorado. I'm pretty severely allergic to secondhand smoke, and I think I have the right to go out to dinner without getting sick. But that's just my thought.
• United States
3 Mar 07
Plain and simple no it shouldn't be. Mothers have to realize the consequences of their actions and what it may do to the baby. My issue would come if the mother drinks alot, has the child, and the child has a birth defect. At that point the mother should not be allowed to give the child up. And if she does give it up being forced by law, then she shoudl be faced to pay the government child support. It was her actions that caused the baby to be that way, and she is obviously not fit to be a mother, but at the same time the taxpayesr shouldn't take this burden, so force her to pay the government. It's not that hard.
1 person likes this
@joodzki6 (596)
• Philippines
5 Mar 07
well, for me, it should...because those are really bad for pregnant women. But i'm sure their doctors are giving them warning about that and definitely they are not suggesting any of it. That will only depend on the person who's pregnant..they should have the discipline and care about their babies. but if they don't have that discipline...there's no one to blame but them. they should take the consequences of their doings. they should not think of themselves but think of the babies welfare and health as well. but we can't control them, because i think there's no such law about that.
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Mar 07
I don't think it should be illegal to sell those items to a pregnant woman. First of all, she will get them if she wants them. Second, what if she is buying them not for herself, but for someone else? I had that happen to me one time when I was pregnant. The man said, "shame on you". Well, he had no idea who I was purchasing them for. It was very rude of him, and I wanted to ask him why he would sell something he thought was so bad in the first place. I don't mind a person wondering, so your question is a good one, but for this man to be so bold to say that to me when he knew nothing about me nor my business, was very unprofessional.
@Melizzy (1381)
• United States
4 Mar 07
Pregnant woman smoking - When a pregnant woman smokes, so does her unborn child!
Outlawing pregnant women from smoking or drinking is a nice idea; however, it goes against freedom of choice. As much as we might want to help that unborn child, the truth is that we can't do that. To do so, would make this a Gustapo State and we are already heading down that road as it is. If a woman chooses to smoke while pregnant, it is her choice. Period.
• Australia
3 Mar 07
even if you do stop supplying things that are harmful to heir babies, they will still find a way to get the items that they are addicted to.
1 person likes this
@mywords18 (645)
• United States
3 Mar 07
well well it shud be banned no matter its sold to anyone,,,and getting back to point whn a lady is mature enuf to get pregnant and carryin her baby she shud be sensible enuf to get such things infact there shud be a age limit of getting pregnant too isnt it? getting earlier and later then that shud be penalised watsay??
1 person likes this
@catcai (1057)
• Philippines
3 Mar 07
Personally i dont think it should be illegal, let alone the government take part in it- It's still the mothers choice whether she wants to continue smoking or not, like the other responders have mentioned quiting cold turkey is more harmful than cutting back gradually. I am pregnant and before i knew i was, i was smoking almost a pack a day-i had no idea i was pregnant- so when i told the doctor about this- she told me not to quit but just to cut back- until my body gets used to not smoking anymore- now i smoke like 1-2 sticks twice a week 3 sticks to the most, just for gradation purposes. i hope by next week i wont smoke anymore- i know that it is harmful for the child- but what happend to me was i had no idea i was pregnant, if i had known earlier i would have quit smoking earlier too- for me, of course its not right that pregnant women buy and consume things that will potentially harm their child, but its their choice, and even if we are just concerned and we only have good intentions, its beyond our borders. =)
@GuateMom (1411)
• Canada
3 Mar 07
I am pregnant and I am a horrid grump if I don't have my morning coffee. You need to drink a lot of coffee to cause an effect in the baby, and most damage would be done early on in the pregnancy when the average observer wouldn't realize that the woman is pregnant! Technically, if you ban caffiene from pregnant women, you have to ask every single one if there is a chance she might be pregnant, not very practical!
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Mar 07
No i don't think they should be allowed to i mean if they are stupid and want to drink and smoke and not care abouot the health of there unborn child then some one needs to step up and say no we will not allow it ofcoures there will be people out there that will sell to them but we should all do our part to try and protect that unborn child
1 person likes this