Cigarettes are on the short list of possible teratogens. Cigarette smoking is also a risk factor for premature labor and fetal growth retardation. If you smoke cigarettes, try to stop. If you are not able to stop, at least try to cut down on the numbers of cigarettes you smoke AND the number of “drags” you take off any one cigarette. If there is another adult smoker in your household, talk to them and try to enlist his/her help. It is very difficult for even a motivated person to quit smoking if there is another adult smoker in the household.

The tobacco companies are using you and your health to line their pockets. They are very aware of the addictive properties of cigarettes. Recognize that you may be addicted, and that it’s not your fault if you cannot quit. But it is your responsibility to try to quit. Find the courage and willpower to keep trying. Here are some strategies to help you cut down or quit:

  • Imagine yourself in the future as a non-smoker; free from all the trappings of the addiction
  • Ban smoking inside your house and car
  • Ration your cigarettes
  • Keep your ration in a separate container; don’t carry the pack during the day
  • Don’t bum cigarettes from others
  • If someone asks you for a cigarette, give them two
  • Carry sugarless gum or carrot sticks
  • When you want a cigarette, look at the clock, have a piece of gum and wait 10 more minutes
  • Take three drags from the cigarette and crush it as it leaves your mouth after the third drag

When your ration gets down to five cigarettes per day, set a quit date. And quit. Chances are you will be unsuccessful in the long run…….this is a powerful addiction. It has been shown that successful quitters KEEP TRYING…….don’t beat yourself up when you fail…….it’s not your fault. But take the responsibility for quitting, and promise yourself you will beat it. People who have successfully quit have a strong mental picture of themselves as future non-smokers. See yourself that way……and keep trying.

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