It looks like women who can't kick the smoking habit during pregnancy might have one small saving grace that could help benefit their child's respiratory health — vitamin C.

According to a new study, presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies meeting in Washington D.C., vitamin C was shown to lower the risk of lung problems in babies who were born to mothers that smoked during their pregnancy, Everyday Health reported.

The study included 217 women who were less than 22 weeks into their pregnancy and failed to quit the smoking. Of the participants, 70 were given vitamin C each day, while 77 were given a placebo. The remaining 70 women were non-smokers. All women were given pre-natal vitamins.

The pulmonary functions of each baby were tested 48 hours after birth. The researchers monitored lung size, movement, and lung sounds. Of the babies in the vitamin C group, 21 percent had wheezing sounds in their lungs, the lowest rate of wheezing. Twenty-seven percent of babies born in the non-smoking group wheezed, and 40 percent of babies born in the placebo group wheezed -- the highest rate. Because the vitamin C group reported even less wheezing than the non-smoking group, researchers believe that non-smokers who take vitamin C could benefit too, according to Science World Report .

Because this study only tested for wheezing, researchers emphasized that stopping smoking altogether was the best way to ensure that a baby is born healthy.
"Getting women to quit smoking during pregnancy has to be priority one, but this finding provides a way to potentially help the infants born of the roughly 50 percent of pregnant smokers who won't or just can't quit smoking no matter what is tried," said study co-author Eliot Spindel, senior scientist at the Oregon National Primate Research Center at Oregon Health and Science University, in a press release.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, smoking during pregnancy has also been linked to a higher risk of miscarriage, prematurity, lower birth weight, and more birth defects.