Blowing Smoke: Myths and Facts About Smoking While Pregnant
Learn the risks of using tobacco while pregnant… and why it’s important to quit.
Pregnancy can be one of the most exciting times in a woman’s life, but it can also bring big changes. Another thing it often brings? Advice from well-meaning friends and family.
Much of their advice may be helpful, but some myths related to smoking while pregnant continue. It’s important to understand the very real risks related to tobacco use during pregnancy. Let’s set the record straight.
Myth #1: Stopping smoking during pregnancy is more dangerous than continuing to smoke, since quitting could be stressful to the baby.
The opposite is true. Smoking while pregnant is much more harmful than quitting. Smoking increases blood pressure, speeds up your heart rate and increases the amount of carbon monoxide in the bloodstream too. All of this adds up to less oxygen for your baby and developmental challenges.
Myth #2: I’m pregnant and have been smoking, so there is no point in stopping now.
Quitting smoking at any stage of your pregnancy has health benefits for you and your baby. Even after just one day of not smoking, your baby will get more oxygen. This will help your baby’s lungs develop better. Quitting now also lowers your chances of having a baby with low birth weight.
Myth #3: Smoking fewer cigarettes or switching to e-cigarettes during pregnancy is OK.
The truth? There is no safe amount of smoking. Every puff of a cigarette releases harmful chemicals that will reach your baby and affect your health too. E-cigarettes are also not harmless. Although there is still much to learn about e-cigarettes, pregnant women should not use them. The nicotine in e-cigarettes is still harmful for developing babies.
Quitting tobacco can be difficult, but the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline has the services and resources to help you quit your own way. Our specially trained Quit CoachesTM are there to provide nonjudgmental support and are able to guide you through your tobacco-free journey. If you have SoonerCare, talk to your doctor about additional quitting benefits through the Helpline. Call 1-800-QUIT NOW or visit OKhelpline.com for more information and to sign up for our FREE services.