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Tobacco, drug use during pregnancy can double risk of stillbirth

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Researchers tested blood samples from thousands of women who gave birth to live or stillborn infants as well the umbilical cord to assess drug exposure to the fetus.

While the majority of women who experienced a stillbirth showed no traces of tobacco or other drugs, they had two to three times higher rates of exposure than women who delivered live babies.

Experts also found that secondhand exposure to tobacco was just as harmful as when the women smoked, used marijuana or prescription painkillers themselves.