Pregnant or Planning to Have a Baby

Know the Facts

In 2010, data from 27 PRAMS sites, representing 52% of live births, showed that among women with recent live births:*

  • About 23% reported smoking in the 3 months prior to pregnancy.
    • More than half of these smokers (54%) reported that they quit smoking by the last 3 months of pregnancy.
  • Almost 11% reported smoking during the last 3 months of pregnancy.
  • Almost 16% reported smoking after delivery.

If you’re pregnant or planning to have a baby, you probably know that smoking cigarettes is a health threat for you and your baby. Many women make it a goal to quit during this time in their lives.

It’s most helpful for you and your baby to quit smoking before you get pregnant. But if you’re already pregnant, quitting can still help protect you and your baby from health problems.

Health problems caused by smoking cigarettes can be serious. For example, your baby can be born too early or have a birth defect. And even if you smoked cigarettes and had a healthy pregnancy in the past, that does not mean it’s safe to smoke during your next pregnancy. When you smoke cigarettes during pregnancy, you put your health and your baby’s health at risk.

Some women might think it is safe to start smoking again after their baby is born. But your baby is not out of harm’s way.

  • Babies who breathe secondhand smoke are more likely to die from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
  • Babies who are around cigarette smoke have weaker lungs than babies who are not around cigarette smoke.
  • Babies who are around cigarette smoke are more likely to have ear infections and breathing problems.

Though quitting smoking can be hard, the benefits are worth it!

  • You’ll increase your chances of having a healthy baby.
  • You’ll breathe better.
  • You’ll be surprised how much easier it is to be active.

Learn what percent of people currently smoke cigarettes, both in the United States overall and among specific populations.

Real Stories: Pregnancy Problems Featured in Tips®

Learn the real stories of families who suffered health problems related to smoking during pregnancy.

Learn more about all Tips participants in our Real Stories section.

Free Quitting Resources

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Real Stories: Pregnancy Problems Featured in Tips®

Learn the real stories of families who suffered health problems related to smoking during pregnancy.

Amanda

Amanda B. smoked while she was pregnant. Her baby was born 2 months early and was kept in an incubator.

“I’ll never forget her tiny, little cry. It wasn’t like the cries you hear; you know—a loud, screaming, typical baby cry. It was just this soft, little cry.”

Learn more about all Tips participants in our Real Stories section.

Additional Resources

The right kind of support can help pregnant people get through the unique challenges of quitting during this phase of life. Special quitting help and guidance is available for you and for the people around you. Resources include:

Today I start my quit journey. Free resources provided by smokefree.gov
Amanda

Amanda B. smoked while she was pregnant. Her baby was born 2 months early and was kept in an incubator.

“I’ll never forget her tiny, little cry. It wasn’t like the cries you hear; you know—a loud, screaming, typical baby cry. It was just this soft, little cry.”

Today I start my quit journey. Free resources provided by smokefree.gov