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Smoking and Second-Hand Smoke During Pregnancy


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Smoking and second-hand smoke are harmful before and during pregnancy, and after your baby is born.

If you're pregnant and smoke, now is the time for you and your partner to quit or cut back.  

Here’s some advice to get you started:

  • See your healthcare provider for advice on the options that may be best for you.
  • Join a stop smoking program.
  • Contact QuitNow by phone at 8-1-1 for free, confidential, no-pressure counseling and support from trained specialists.  Or you can visit the QuitNow website.
  • For information on local stop smoking programs, call your public health office, HealthLink BC at 8-1-1, or visit the HealthLink BC website. 
  • Ask for the support of your physician or midwife, partner, friends, family, and co workers.
  • Buy yourself something special with the money you save.
  • If you smoke to deal with stress, find other healthy ways to relax.
  • Focus on the health of your baby as a motivator.
  • If you need more reasons to quit, see the HealthLink BC: The Harmful Effects of Second-hand Smoke.

Smoking and exposure to second hand smoke during pregnancy contribute to a higher risk of:

  • slowing your baby’s growth and development
  • miscarriage or stillbirth
  • preterm birth and low birth weight

Smoking and second hand smoke after birth contributes to a higher risk of:

  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
  • More ear infections, asthma, bronchitis and hospital admissions in the first year of life than children of non smoking parents. 
  • Reduced milk supply in the mother.
  • Your child also becoming a smoker.

Cigarettes and cigarette smoke contain over 4,000 chemicals that can cross the placenta and enter your baby's blood. The best thing you can do for yourself and your baby is quit smoking. No one should smoke in your home. A smoke-free home is important for your baby's health and for everyone else in your family.

References and Links:

HealthLink BC: Quitting Smoking and Avoiding Smoke During Pregnancy

Last Updated: August 2, 2013