Making a plan to avoid secondhand smoke is an important step in helping your baby have a healthy start. This workbook was written by a tobacco prevention expert and mother of two.
Pregnant? Planning a Family?A New Parent? Take the first step for your baby!
Choose to avoid cigarettes and secondhand smoke when you are pregnant. This is one of the most important steps you can take for yourself and your developing baby.
[Picture caption: If you stopped smoking during your pregnancy... congratulations! You took a major step to give your baby a healthy start in life.]
Even if you do not smoke while you are pregnant, your developing baby is affected by tobacco smoke. It limits the oxygen your baby gets and:
[Picture caption: Secondhand smoke comes from a burning cigarette, cigar or pipe and from the smoke exhaled by smokers.]
Do all you can to keep yourself and your baby away from secondhand smoke. Secondhand tobacco smoke makes babies sick and makes it harder for them to breathe. Babies' lungs and airways are small. When they breathe tobacco smoke, babies get poisons from the smoke. Their lungs also absorb tiny particles, nicotine, harmful gases, and chemicals from secondhand smoke.
Breathing problems, wheezing, and sickness triggered by secondhand smoke makes babies feel uncomfortable and can cause them to be more fussy.
Congratulations on your new arrival! Thinking about passing out cigars to celebrate your baby's birth? Think Again! The amount of smoke from 1 cigar equals 3 cigarettes and is more poisonous.
[Picture caption: Start a new tradition. Give out flowers or chocolate kisses to celebrate your baby's arrival.]
[Picture caption: Keep your baby away from secondhand smoke. Give your baby a better start in life.]
[Picture caption: Remember, most people will not smoke if you ask them not to.]
Many parents want to ask others not to smoke near their baby. This can be awkward, especially when talking to family members. But most people will not smoke if asked politely. These stories may help you.
Renee and her husband didn't want their newborn son exposed to cigarette smoke when they visited her parents. "It was difficult and my parents were offended at first," said Renee, when she asked them not to smoke around the baby, even in their own home. Her mom and dad wanted to see their grandson. They made one room in their house the baby's room and did not smoke in there. Renee was glad her parents tried to change. But, she knew the smoke was all around and still got into the baby's room.
[Picture caption: Opening a window may help clear the air, but it is not good enough. Make your house smoke-free.]
Renee and her husband took these same steps when their second son was born.
[Picture caption: Kids exposed to secondhand smoke may not do as well as other kids in school. It also doubles their risk of getting cavities.]
Marco tried not to smoke around his daughter and would go outside his house to smoke. However, his baby, Laura, began having asthma attacks. Often her asthma started after Marco had been holding her. Once, Laura had a really bad asthma attack and was rushed to the emergency department. The doctor told Marco that the particles and tar in cigarette smoke stuck to his hands and clothes. His smoking had triggered Laura's asthma attacks! That was enough of a warning to Marco. He quit smoking cold turkey! Laura's breathing improved, thanks to her dad.
[Picture caption: Fathers can protect their families from secondhand smoke.]
Pregnant with their first child, Jan worried when Mike smoked. So she asked her doctor how secondhand smoke affected the baby even though she didn't smoke. Then Jan asked the doctor to talk to Mike about not smoking around her now, and not smoking around the baby after the birth. Together they made a plan for Mike to go to Jan's next check-up. At the clinic Mike learned that his smoking put the baby in danger even before it was born. The doctor gave Mike a 'no secondhand smoke prescription' to remind him not to smoke around Jan or near the baby after it was born. Mike's first step was to smoke outside. Then he quit smoking in the car. Jan says: "I feel better knowing Mike is helping me and helping our baby to be healthy. The house smells better too!"
[Picture caption: Secondhand smoke makes babies' little lungs work even harder and also increases the chances of bronchitis or pneumonia.]
Think about when and where you breathe secondhand smoke. List the places.
What are your reasons for avoiding secondhand smoke. For example: Smoke stinks! It affects my health and makes my nose itch and eyes burn. List your reasons.
What can you do to keep away from secondhand smoke? Example: When I go out with friends who smoke, I'll drive. List things you can do.
At home (fill in the blank)
At work (fill in the blank)
In the car (fill in the blank)
[Picture caption: Ask people to go outside to smoke and then wash their hands and face before holding your baby.]
These smokers are important to me. I want them to be part of my baby's life. I will let them now their cigarette smoke hurts me and my baby.
Name: (fill in the blank)
What I will Say: (fill in the blank)
What I will Say: I know you want the best for our baby. He needs you not
to smoke around us.
I can call these friends and family members who don't smoke to babysit.
Name: (fill in the blank)
Phone: (fill in the blank)
[Picture caption: Involve friends, family, and babysitters to help keep your baby healthy and smoke-free.]
Benefits Of Not Breathing Secondhand Smoke
For help with keeping your baby away from secondhand smoke, quitting smoking, and other parenting topics, call:
This campaign is brought to you by:
N. C. Healthy Start Foundation and the First Step Campaign
N. C. Health and Wellness Trust Fund
N. C. Department of Health and Human Services - www.wch.dhhs.state.nc.us