Smoke-Free Pregnancy (Tobacco and Cannabis)

Tobacco and Pregnancy

Quitting smoking is the most important step you can take to improve your health and protect the health of your unborn child. A smoke-free environment is best for you and your developing baby.

Smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke during pregnancy creates serious health risks for both mom and baby.

You may have heard that quitting smoking during pregnancy can be harmful. This is a myth! Quitting is always the best choice. If you are pregnant, stop smoking if you can. If you can’t quit, consider smoking fewer cigarettes to reduce the harm to you and your baby. It is never too late in your pregnancy to quit; quitting at any time will improve your health and the health of your baby.

Staying quit after pregnancy is just as important.

If you want help to quit smoking, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider. You can also call the Newfoundland and Labrador Smokers’ Helpline at 1-800-363-5864.

Many products, such as lozenges, gum, inhalers, and patches contain nicotine that may help you quit smoking. Start by trying to quit smoking without nicotine products, but these nicotine replacements (NRTs) can be considered if counseling alone does not work. To find out if this is an option for you, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or other health-care provider.

Some people may wonder if e-cigarettes or vapes can be used to help quit smoking while pregnant, but e-cigarettes and other products containing nicotine are not safe to use during pregnancy.

It is also important to provide a smoke-free home for you and your baby. You and your baby can be exposed to second hand and third hand smoke by breathing in the smoke from another person and from the chemicals that stay on clothes, furniture, skin, etc. that has been exposed to smoke. A smoke-free environment reduces your baby dying from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), and they will be less likely to have ear infections and breathing problems.

Cannabis and Pregnancy

Cannabis is also known as marijuana and comes from the cannabis pant. It has more than 700 chemical compounds.  While we do know that there are risks to both the pregnant person and the unborn fetus, there is still a lot to learn.Therefore, until more is known about the short and long-term effects of cannabis, it is safest to avoid using cannabis when pregnant and breastfeeding.

  • A baby’s developing brain is affected by cannabis taken during pregnancy.
  • Longer-term cannabis use during pregnancy has been shown to be associated with developmental effects in children and adolescents.
  • Just like alcohol, there is no known safe amount of cannabis to use during pregnancy. (Health Canada, 2018)

If you would like help to reduce or stop cannabis use before, during or after your baby is born, ask your health care provider for information and support.

Services related to this information:

Smokers’ Helpline Newfoundland and Labrador – 1-800-363-5864

811 HealthLine (Newfoundland & Labrador) – Call 811 or 1-888-709-2929 / TTY 1-888-709-3555

Mental Health and Addictions Services for Adults (Eastern Health)

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Last updated: 2020-07-31