Original Investigation

The effect of long term nicotine exposure on nicotine addiction and fetal growth


  • Soycan Mızrak
  • Volkan Turan
  • Coşan Terek
  • Gülinnaz Ercan

Received Date: 04.07.2012 Accepted Date: 05.08.2012 J Turk Ger Gynecol Assoc 2012;13(4):237-241 PMID: 24592049


To investigate the effect of nicotine exposure starting before coitus and continuing during pregnancy and lactation period on delivery rate, fetal growth and nicotine addiction in rats.

Material and Methods:

Ten female Swiss Albino rats were divided into 2 groups as the nicotine group (NG) (n=5), and the control group (n=5), conceived by adding 2 male rats to each group. While the control group was given only normal drinking water, 0.4 mg/kg body weight (BW)/day nicotine was given to the NG in drinking water. After delivery, the BWs of pups were recorded weekly for 6 weeks and their drinking water preferences were assessed. Meanwhile, pups of the NG continued to receive 0.4 mg/kg/day nicotine for 12 months while the controls continued with normal drinking water.


At the end of the 6th week, it was determined that 30 (69%) rats out of 43 in the NG and only 7 rats (20%) out of 35 in the control group preferred the nicotine added drinking water (p<0.05). No significant difference was observed between control and NGs in postnatal birth weights and BWs recorded for 6 weeks. On the contrary, a significant decrease (p< 0.05) was observed in the BWs of NG at the end of 12 months nicotine exposure.


Use of maternal nicotine in pregnancy and lactation periods, even at a low dose, may be effective in nicotine addiction development although it may not affect delivery rate, and BWs of pups after delivery and during six weeks follow up in the lactation period.

Keywords: Nicotine, pregnancy, nicotine addiction, fetal growth, delivery rate