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Tennessee Intervention for Pregnant Smokers

East Tennessee State University

If You Are Not Yet Ready To Quit

"Instead of giving yourself reasons why you can't, give yourself reasons why you can." 


Maybe you:

  • tried to quit in the past and were unsuccessful
  • think it will be too hard
  • think smoking doesn't harm your baby
  • think smoking helps you concentrate, lose weight, or cope with stress
  • smoked through one pregnancy and believe it didn't affect your child
  • see everyone around you smoking and don't know how to be around them without smoking too
  • feel like you have no support in your attempt to quit
  • have been smoking so long, you think it's too late to quit or that it won't make a difference now

If any of these reasons are true for you, Keep Reading!

You should know that:

  • Most smokers attempt to quit several times before they succeed--each time, you learn more about what does and doesn't work and  how you can eventually succeed!
  • It may be quite difficult, but you and your baby are worth it!  We can teach you ways to get through the difficulty.
  • Smoking DOES harm you and your baby! See Reasons to Quit for just a few of the ways it is harmful. A single cigarette can take 7 minutes off your life, and your baby will be subjected to the same consequences.
  • Every pregnancy is different and there are many factors that influence how severely your child is affected.  Your baby should have the best start possible.
  • The "high" you get from smoking only lasts 10 seconds. You may feel it helps you cope with stress because of the withdrawal symptoms. These side effects will naturally go away if you quit, and you won't need a cigarette to feel relaxed!
  • Only 1/3 of people who stop smoking gain weight, and the average weight gain is less than 10 pounds!  If you eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly, you can maintain your weight and be much healthier overall.....and think how much better food will taste!
  • It is very difficult to not smoke around others who do.  But you can lay ground rules and avoid secondhand smoke--just stay determined!
  • There are many people out there who want to help you quit smoking - telephone quit lines, health care providers, support groups, web sites, your smoking cessation coach, self-help books, etc. You are not alone!
  • It is never too late to quit smoking.  Even after a few hours your health improves! As for your baby, the more time you give him/her without smoke, the better!

If you're still not ready to quit, there are some other steps you can take to be healthier.  But keep thinking about quitting and when you are ready, we will be there to help!

  • Eat healthier - more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein
  • Observe the ways nonsmokers respond to situations you would respond to by smoking
  • Carefully observe other smokers, paying special attention to the negative aspects of the habit
  • Increase your physical activity (consult your physician before exercising)
  • Smoke in front of a mirror
  • Become more self-confident. Write down qualities you like about yourself--are your smoking habits connected to these qualities in any way?
  • Seek out people who have recently quit smoking and find out how and why they did it
  • Try new ways of reducing stress. Schedule quiet relaxation time and pick up a new hobby

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