Smoke Free

Smoking is not only bad for you, it’s bad for your baby, too.  If you smoke during your pregnancy, your baby could be born low birth-weight or have health problems later on. In Baltimore City,  babies who are exposed to smoke 

in the womb are 5x more likely to die from SIDS than babies not exposed to cigarette smoke. But any kind of smoke is bad for your baby -- cigarettes, cigars, e-cigs, vapes, and marijuana. 

Explore this page to learn more about why it's important to be smoke free for your baby, common concerns, tips for quitting, and smoking cessation support. 

Smoke-free Pregnancy

 

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

If you're pregnant and you 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.

Everything changes when you’re pregnant. Now is the time to quit.

 

It's ok to smoke if the window is cracked, right?


Many people think that it's ok to smoke as long as the window is open or they smoke in a another room. But it's not enough to go to another room, open a window, or use a fan. The toxic gases and particles in smoke cling to clothes, hair, furniture, toys and dust for a long time. That’s why you can usually smell tobacco smoke on a person even when they are not smoking. Don't let anyone smoke inside your house, in the car, or anywhere near 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.




What if I don’t really smoke that much?


There is no 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 baby—chemicals from smoking can get on your skin, hair and clothes and rub off on your baby.




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. When you smoke, you both smoke. When you quit, you both quit.




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 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. Try to 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.




I don't smoke, but I live with someone who does. Does that matter?


Yes. Breathing in someone else's smoke is as bad as smoking yourself. Secondhand smoke has the same harmful chemicals that smokers inhale. Don't let anyone smoke in your house or in your car.

It can be hard to ask someone in your home to only smoke outside, but having this talk can help everyone in your home. Try to have this talk when everyone is relaxed. Avoid blaming the person who smokes – smoking is very addictive. Here are some tips:

  • Explain that smoking indoors harms everyone’s health – and you are concerned about their health, too.
  • Point out good things about smoking outside (the house will smell better).
  • Thank them for protecting everyone’s health by smoking outside.
  • Get all ashtrays, matches, and lighters out of your home.
  • Don’t let any visitors smoke in your house.





Quitting Smoking: Common Concerns and Myths

Tips for Quitting

 

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.

Getting Ready to Quit

  • Plan a date to quit smoking and work toward it.

  • Ask for help. Tell your friends, family, and doctor about your plan to stop smoking.

  • Throw away all cigarettes, ashtrays, and lighters.

  • Plan how you will deal with stress—listen to music, take a walk, or talk to a friend who doesn’t smoke.

  • Reward yourself. Put a quarter in a jar for every cigarette you skip. Use the money to treat yourself.

  • Keep yourself motivated. Write down why you are quitting and remind yourself about it daily.

  • Not ready to quit? Try skipping 3 or 4 cigarettes a day.

 
If you're planning to quit smoking, identifying people to support you is key to your success. Those people can be friends and family, or you can reach out to organizations in Baltimore City who are here to support you on your quit journey.​

Smoke-free Resources

Support Groups

Talk to other birthing families about dealing with stress.

Upton/Druid Heights:

410-706-6131

Patterson Park North & East:

443-703-3676

Smoking Cessation MD Quitline

You can earn gift cards for calling the Quitline while you are pregnant and after your baby is born.

1-800-QUIT-NOW

Smoking Cessation Classes

Referrals to smoking cessation counseling and classes. 

410-545-1530

24/7 Substance Use/Mental Health Help

If you are in crisis, this helpline will connect you to immediate help and services.

410-433-5175

ABOUT US >

Sponsored by the

Office of Mayor Bernard C. "Jack" Young,

Baltimore City Health DepartmentFamily League of Baltimore, and HealthCare Access Maryland

 

Made possible by generous funding from CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, City of Baltimore, Maryland Department of Health, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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