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Smoking

Need help quitting smoking? Click here to find resources near you that can help you to quit smoking.

Smoking is not only bad for you, it’s harmful to those around you – especially if you’re pregnant or have a baby. Babies exposed to cigarette smoke in the womb and after birth are at increased risk of low birth-weight and SIDS. Research in Baltimore City found that babies who were exposed to smoke in the womb were five times more likely to die from SIDS than babies not exposed to cigarette smoke.

If you’re pregnant and don’t smoke or already quit:

Every day that you do not smoke, you are doing something great for yourself and your baby so you should be proud of yourself. To fully protect your baby, your baby’s daycare center or caregiver’s home should smoke-free as well.

If you’re pregnant and smoke:

If you quit during pregnancy, your baby is more likely to:

  • Be born healthy
  • Have strong lungs that work well
  • Be less fussy and develop fewer earaches
  • Get sick less.

And you will:

  • Have more energy and breathe more easily
  • Save money that you can spend on other things
  • Have better smelling hair and clothes
  • Enjoy the taste of your food more
  • Feel good knowing you’ve done something great for yourself and your baby.

Resources

Maryland 1-800-QUITNOW Line http://www.smokingstopshere.com

CDC's Tips from Former Smokers Campaign http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/

Become an Ex http://www.becomeanex.org

You Quit Two Quit http://www.youquittwoquit.com

Smokefree at http://www.smokefree.gov/

I always crack a window when I smoke. Isn’t this enough?

Cracking the car window while you smoke - or smoking in another room – won’t protect others from the harmful effects of tobacco smoke. Third hand smoke is made up of the toxic gases and particles left behind from cigarette or cigar smoking. These toxic remains, which include lead, arsenic and carbon monoxide, cling to clothes, hair, couches and carpets well after the smoke from a cigarette or cigar has cleared the room. That’s why you can usually tell a smoker by the way he or she smells.

To avoid putting others at risk, make it a rule to not smoke in your house or car by just stepping outside or holding off.

What if I don’t really smoke that much?

There is not a safe level of smoking. Every time you light up, your baby suffers. Don’t smoke while you are pregnant or anywhere near your baby.

It’s best not to smoke at all if you have a small baby—chemicals from cigarettes can get on your skin, hair and clothes and rub off on your baby.

But I smoked during my last pregnancy and everything was fine.

It is true that some babies are lucky and are born healthy even if their mom smoked during her pregnancy. But the fact is that every baby is different and there is no way of knowing which ones will be the lucky ones.

I’ve already been smoking during this pregnancy, isn’t it too late to quit now?

No! It is never too late to quit smoking. After just one day of not smoking, your baby will get more oxygen. Each day that you don’t smoke, you are helping your baby grow.

I want to quit, but I don’t think I can deal with my stress without cigarettes.

If you feel stressed and tempted to light up remember that smoking will not solve the actual problem. Remove yourself from the stressful situation if you can. Talk to a friend or someone you trust, take a few minutes for a quick walk, or listen to some music.

Is it true that most people can’t quit on their first try?

It is true that quitting is hard work, but many people try and succeed. Withdrawal cravings are the strongest in the first week, but those are normal and temporary signs that your body is healing.

I’m ready to quit. What next?

Congratulations on making the important first step to better health for you and your baby. The best strategy is to set a plan and to take quitting one day at a time.
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Sponsored by the Office of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake,
Baltimore City Health Department,
The Family League of Baltimore, and
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield