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Pregnancy & Smoking

When pregnant women smoke, they pass toxic chemicals contained in cigarette smoke to their baby. These chemicals are particularly dangerous to children and infants because their bodies are still developing.1

Almost 60 percent—or 22 million children in the U.S. are exposed to secondhand smoke. Children are unable to protect themselves from exposure to secondhand smoke, so it’s up to you to make sure your baby is safe by quitting smoking when you become pregnant and not exposing yourself or your baby to secondhand smoke.

The Dangers of Smoking During Pregnancy

Mothers who smoke during pregnancy increase the risk of their baby suffering from a number of medical problems, including:1

  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
  • Low birth weight
  • Underdeveloped lungs

Children of Smokers

Children exposed to secondhand smoke are at an increased risk for:1

  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
  • Acute respiratory infections (bronchitis, pneumonia)
  • Ear problems
  • Asthma attacks that are more frequent and severe

Protect Your Children from Secondhand Smoke

  • Do not allow anyone to smoke near your child.
  • Ask smokers to change clothes before holding your baby.
  • Do not smoke or allow others to smoke in your home or car. Opening a window does not protect your children from smoke. Louisiana ACT 838 prohibits smoking in a motor vehicle when children under 13 are in the vehicle.
  • Use a tobacco-free day care center.
  • Do not take your child to restaurants or other indoor public places that allow smoking.
  • Teach children to stay away from secondhand smoke.

You Can Quit
The decision to quit is important to your health and the health of your baby. It’s never too late to quit, and the health benefits of quitting are immediate to you and your baby.2 We know quitting is not easy, and it requires effort and a strong commitment. But you can quit, and we’re here to help and support you through the process.

References:

1 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2006.

2 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2004 [accessed 2011 Nov 7].

Helpful links

Quitting is a process.

Remember that everyone's quit story is different. What works for one, might not always work for another. Don't give up. You can do this, Louisiana!

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Share Your Quit Story

Everyone's quit story is different. What works for one, might not always work for another. So we want you to share your success story (and your struggles) with us, so that you can help motivate and encourage others to quit.




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