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Starting a Smoke-Free Life

As a new parent, it is important to know that smoking and second-hand smoke are harmful to you and your baby

Smoke Free Life Collage

Quitting smoking is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your baby

Benefits of quitting smoking for you…

  • Starting a smoke-free lifeDecreased risk of developing cancers, heart disease, stroke and circulatory problems
  • Decreased risk of chronic bronchitis, flu, colds, pneumonia, chronic obstructive
    pulmonary disease and emphysema
  • Decreased risk of developing tooth loss, gum disease, osteoporosis and menstrual

Benefits of quitting smoking for your pregnancy…

  • Decreased possibility of miscarriage.
  • Decreased risk of complications during pregnancy.
  • Decreased risk of your baby being born early.
  • lady holding pregnant belly
  • Decreased risk of your baby having a lower birth weight.

When a woman smokes or breathes in second-hand smoke, so does the baby. Poisons such as nicotine and carbon monoxide travel from the mother’s blood to the blood of the baby. The baby gets less food and oxygen and does not grow as well as it should.

The possibility of your baby being born with cleft lip or cleft palate has been linked to mothers who smoke during pregnancy.

The risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) increases if you smoke before your baby is born.

Benefits of eliminating second-hand smoke around infants and children…

Now is a great time to quit. Here are some tips to help you quit and stay quit:

  • Make a quit plan
  • Decide on a quit date and ask someone to be your support person
  • If your partner smokes, consider quitting together
  • Decide on an activity that can replace smoking a cigarette, e.g. drink water, or go for a walk with your baby
  • Remove all cigarettes and/or ashtrays from your environment
  • Discuss your decision and options with doctor or pharmacist

Exposure to second-hand smoke causes:

  • Bronchitis, pneumonia, and other lower respiratory tract infections
  • Worsening of asthma
  • Middle ear disease
  • Decreased lung function

Second-hand smoke is one of the major preventable risk factors for SIDS

Exposure to second-hand smoke has also been linked to childhood cancers (leukemias, lymphomas, brain tumors) and onset of asthma.

There is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke. Opening a window will not help.

Ask your partner, family, friends and caregivers not to smoke around you and your children.

Breastfeeding and SmokingMother and baby

  • Nicotine and other dangerous chemicals in cigarette smoke are found in the breast milk of smoking mothers and non-smoking mothers who are exposed to second-hand smoke.
  • If you continue to smoke, you should not smoke around your baby or have a cigarette before breastfeeding your baby.
  • Breastfeeding is still best for your baby even if you continue to smoke.

Additional Resources

For more resources and information on second-hand smoke and/or quitting smoking contact Durham Health Connection Line at 1-800-841-2729 or 905-666-6241.