Cigarette smoke is very harmful for your baby, both during pregnancy and after birth. Babies who live with smokers get sick more often than those who don’t.
Find out how to make your home and car smokefree, how second-hand smoke can harm your baby and how you can be smokefree.
Make your home and car smokefree
Here are some easy steps to make your home and car smokefree.
- Make a rule – your home and car are smokefree at all times for everyone.
- Remove all ashtrays from your home.
- Clean out your car ashtray.
- Remove the cigarette lighter from your car.
- Let other people know – put Smokefree/Auahi Kore stickers on your windows.
- Ask your whānau to support you by not smoking in your home and car.
Second-hand smoke harms your baby
Second-hand smoke is a mix of smoke from a lit cigarette and the smoke blown into the air by the person smoking. Second-hand smoke has more than 200 poisons, of which some can cause cancer. Babies and small children are often not able to move away from second-hand smoke. They also have small bodies and lungs, so the poisons found in second-hand smoke are more harmful to them.
Breathing in second-hand smoke can make your baby sick. It can cause chest infections, glue ear and asthma. Second-hand smoke also increases the risk of babies dying suddenly in their sleep (called sudden unexpected death in infancy/SUDI; and also known as SIDS or cot death).
Opening a window in your home or winding down a window in your car will not get rid of all the second-hand smoke poisons. The poisons will stay around long after the smoke and smell have disappeared.
Find out more about second-hand smoke.
Your new baby is a good reason to quit smoking. If you want help to quit, ask your midwife, nurse or doctor about smokefree programmes near you.
There are phone, web (blog), text and face-to-face services available to help you to quit smoking. Call Quitline on 0800 778 778 or visit Quitting smoking to find out about these services.
Many people who do quit smoking find it is a lot easier than they thought. These tips may help.
- Quit smoking together with others for support.
- Make a smokefree plan and stick to it.
- Use the money you save on things for you or your baby (if you usually smoke 12–14 cigarettes a day, quitting will save you around $4000 in a year).
- Have a smokefree home and car.
Find out more from the Ministry
About the health effects of smoking and how to stop smoking.
Smokefree – Health Promotion Agency
The Health Promotion Agency’s tobacco control work encourages New Zealanders to reject tobacco and adopt a smokefree lifestyle. This is achieved by reducing the number of people who take up smoking and increasing the number of people who quit.
Auahi Kore – Health Promotion Agency
Auahi Kore works to change attitudes towards smoking and encourage Māori to either stop smoking or not to start, and to reclaim this smokefree status.