Tips to Quit Smoking and Vaping

Photo: (Photo : pexels)
(Photo : pexels)

When you are pregnant, what you drink, eat and even breathe can affect your baby. This can include smoking and vaping during pregnancy. 

Cigarettes are made from tobacco leaves and smoke from tobacco has more than 7,000 harmful chemicals. At least 250 of these can affect not just smokers, but nonsmokers too. Tobacco has a drug called nicotine that gets you addicted to smoking. Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine. 

Secondhand smoke can affect you too. It is the smoke that you breathe in from someone else's cigarette, pipe, cigar or other tobacco product. Secondhand smoke is very dangerous for you and your baby's health. Being around secondhand smoke during pregnancy can cause your baby to be born with birth defects or low birth weight. Even breathing a little tobacco smoke can still be harmful. 

How can smoking affect your baby?

When you smoke while you are pregnant, the chemicals like carbon monoxide, nicotine and tar pass through the placenta and the umbilical cord to your baby. These chemicals are harmful to you and your child. They can also lessen the amount of oxygen that your baby gets. This can eventually slow your baby's growth before birth and can damage your baby's brain and lungs. 

Is vaping safer than smoking while pregnant?

The answer is no. Using e-cigarettes, or vape, during pregnancy is not safe. Most e-cigarettes have nicotine, which damages a baby's developing brain and other organs. E-cigarettes also have other chemicals and flavoring that can harm your child. 

Tips for quitting

It is best to quit smoking before you get pregnant. If you are pregnant and you are still smoking, you may feel alone and ashamed. But quitting can still help protect you and your child from health problems. You may think that light or mild cigarettes are safer and better choices during pregnancy but that is not true. You may want to cut down instead of quitting altogether. Even though it is true that the less you smoke, the better it is for your baby but the best option is to quit. 

If you wish to quit smoking, you can write down your reasons. Look at the list when you feel like lighting a stick of cigarette. You can also choose a day to quit and on that day, you need to throw away all of your cigarettes, vape, lighters and ashtrays. 

It is also best to drink a lot of water and you need to keep your hands busy by using a small stress ball or you can do some needlework. Go for a long walk or you can do chores to keep you busy. Eat some raw vegetables or you can chew on sugarless gum to ease the need to have something in your mouth. 

Also, stay away from activities, places or even people that make you feel like smoking. Ask your friend or partner to help you quit. You can ask your employer what services are covered by your health insurance. You can also look for programs in your community or where you work that can help you quit smoking. There are smoking cessation programs that you can sign up for. 

You can also ask your health care provider about quitting aids like gum, patches, nasal spray and medications. Do not start using these without the approval of your health care provider, especially if you are pregnant. You can use tools like free text message programs such as for pregnant women who are trying to quit or you can call a help line 1-800-QUIT-NOW and ask advice from a counselor.

It is important to quit smoking, you may think that it is safe to start smoking again after giving birth but secondhand smoke can harm your child. If you have trouble quitting, keep trying as you are doing what is best for you and your baby.  

ALSO READ: Smoking during pregnancy doubles the risk of sudden unexpected infant death

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