THE GOSPEL TRUTH: Smoking is a major independent risk factor for Coronary Artery Disease (CAD). Maternal smoking during pregnancy increases risks to fetus and non-smokers chronically exposed to tobacco smoke will suffer health hazards. Maternal smoking during pregnancy contributes to fetal growth retardation. Infants born to mothers who smoke weigh an average of 200g less than infants of non-smoking mothers. Carbon monoxide in smoke may decrease oxygen availability to the fetus and account for growth retardation. Smoking during pregnancy has also been linked with higher rates of spontaneous abortion, foetal death, and neo-natal death. The American Academy of Paediatrics estimates that 9 to 12 million American children under the age of 5 may be exposed to passive smoke. The newer studies strengthened earlier conclusions that passive smoke increases the risk of serious early childhood respiratory illness, particularly bronchitis and pneumonia. It has also been found that passive smoke can lead to middle ear infections and other conditions in children.