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Tennessee Intervention for Pregnant Smokers

East Tennessee State University

Secondhand Smoking

A big barrier that many smokers face when trying to quit is being around other smokers, especially if they are close friends or family members. This is a good time to practice your assertiveness and decide ways you will handle these situations!

Here are some suggestions:

  • Ask friends and family who smoke to quit with you! This "buddy" system will help both of you stay on track with your quit plan.
  • Ask others not to smoke around you!
  • Lay down ground rules and create SMOKE FREE ZONES (the car, the house, other personal spaces). If you cannot make the entire house smoke free, designate one room for smoking and have the rest of the house clean!
  • Leave the room/situation/space when others start to smoke!
  • Distract yourself with other behaviors or coping skills!
  • Ask other smokers not to tempt you!

Secondhand smoke is as harmful to you and your baby as when you smoke.  It can include the smoke exhaled from the smoker's mouth, or the smoke from the cigarette tip. It still contains the over 4,000 dangerous chemicals found in the cigarette and is thought to cause 53,000 deaths a year in the U.S. All of the same newborn effects and problems apply too. 

What is Third Hand Smoke?
It is the lingering tobacco smoke residue that remains after a cigarette is put out. Toxins layer every part of a person's home including furniture, dust, clothing, carpet, hair, skin, toys, walls and bedding. The chemicals can last for days, weeks, even months - long after a cigarette is put out!

Infants and children are at particular risk due to spending much of their time indoors, are at close contact with smoking adults and are near dust and objects. Click here to learn more about Third Hand Smoke.

You are making a great choice to quit smoking yourself--you owe it to yourself and your baby to make sure others' behaviors aren't harming you!

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