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(Reuters Health) – Mothers who smoke during pregnancy are more than twice as likely to have babies die suddenly in their sleep as women who avoid tobacco, a U.S. study suggests.

More than 3,700 U.S. infants up to 12 months old die each year of sleep-related causes like sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) or accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed or other unknown causes, researchers report in Pediatrics. Smoking has long been linked to an increased risk of these fatalities, known as sudden unexpected infant death (SUID), but the current study offers fresh evidence of how much cutting back or quitting might help improve babies’ survival odds.