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If you or your partner smoke

Read our guidance on protecting your child's health from cigaratte smoke, and find out about the range of stop smoking support services available to you.

If you have always intended stopping smoking when you become pregnant, now is a good time to take that step. We have specialist stop smoking advisors who can help you with any specific difficulties.

Remember too that smoke from other people's cigarettes can damage your baby so ask your partner and any other family members or friends not to smoke in your home. For dads and dads-to-be, smoking can affect your fertility.

Courses and stop smoking sessions run regularly in different parts of the borough and your GP, practice nurse or pharmacy can also give you advice and help on the best way for you to quit.

Protecting your child's health

Secondhand smoke is made up of two types of smoke: mainstream (breathed in and out by smokers) and sidestream (smoke from the burning tip of a cigarette). Secondhand smoke is dangerous for children because:

  • Smoking during pregnancy has been linked to a variety of health problems including miscarriage, premature birth, low birthweight, cot death (also known as sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS).
  • Smoking near children is a cause of serious respiratory illnesses, such as bronchitis and pneumonia.
  • Exposure to secondhand smoke increases the risk of children developing asthma and can cause asthma attacks.
  • Younger children who are exposed to secondhand smoke are much more likely to contract a serious respiratory infection that requires hospitalisation.
  • There is an increased risk of meningitis for children who are exposed to secondhand smoke.
  • Children exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely to get coughs and colds, as well as middle ear disease, which can cause deafness.

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