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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

According to the 2015 Louisiana Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System, 4.4% of women reported smoking the same or increasing smoking during their pregnancy and 11.8% continued smoking during the last 3 months of pregnancy. Children are unable to protect themselves from exposure to secondhand smoke. It’s up to you provide a safe environment for both you and your baby.

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)
  • Premature birth
  • 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

  • Stay aware of your surroundings, avoid areas with heavy smoke exposure
  • Ask smokers to change clothes before holding your baby
  • Avoid smoking or allowing 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.
  • Ask if your child care center is tobacco-free
  • Educate children about the dangers of secondhand smoke exposure.

You Can Quit
Making the decision to quit smoking is important to your baby’s good health and increases the chances of being healthy for a lifetime. If you’re pregnant there’s still time to stop smoking, quitting smoking during any stage of pregnancy has immediate positive health effects on both mother and baby.

Quit With Us LA is here to help you quit smoking. And, remember, it’s a process and everyone’s quit story is different. What works for one, might not always work for another. Get help today to quit smoking by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

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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