Parenting · Pregnancy

Two things parents need to quit smoking

When I used to smoke, I felt ashamed. As a nurse, I knew better. My HBHC clients know it too. They agree when I say, “stopping smoking is the single best thing we can do for our health and our children’s health.” The challenge is to put our knowledge into action.

Vaping is sometimes marketed as a safe(r) alternative to smoking. We are only now learning about new health risks related to vaping. Nicotine is still extremely addictive in that form. For safety, vape juice needs to be stored up high, like other harmful substances, away from little hands.

As a former smoker, I’m here to tell you these two important actions CAN help you stop:

  1. Focus on the positives – Know what YOU want

The positives of not smoking or vaping are both immediate and long term. Write down your reasons! Some of mine were not having to go out to the store or shiver in the cold, when I needed to smoke. I like waking up without a cough and having increased energy. Feel free to share your reasons in the comments!

Health providers promote quitting because it will improve both your health, and your baby’s health. You can help your baby have a healthy birth weight and ensure they don’t come too early. You can reduce the risk of SIDS and of lung conditions like asthma. In the long term, you’re being a good role model and helping your child choose not to take up smoking themselves.

  1. Get support – Ask for help

There are a wide range of supports to help you when you’re ready to quit. The Smoker’s Helpline offers personalized support I found very helpful. There’s also the Break It Off app you can use on your phone or tablet.

Toronto Public Health is also here to help. Visit How To Quit Smoking or connect with a Public Health Nurse at 416-338-7600 or by eChat.

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