Smoking while pregnant or going into hospital

Evidence shows that quitting smoking completely is the best option for your health. The health risks from smoking aren’t reduced if you just cut down or smoke ‘socially’.

Smoking and pregnancy

The best thing you can do for your health, and to help your baby develop healthily during pregnancy and beyond, is for you and your partner to stop smoking. It reduces the risks of ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, premature birth, low birth weight, cot death, stillbirth, attention deficit disorder and many other illnesses and diseases.

Pregnant women always receive free medications and support to stop smoking. Your midwife can refer you to one of our specially trained advisors. They understand how hard it can be to stop smoking and you can have as much support as you need.

Smoking before having an operation

Giving up smoking in the months before you go into hospital is best, but there will be benefits even if you quit for a few days:

  • Smokers usually require more anaesthetic than normal. Stopping before your surgery means you will require less anaesthetic and this will help speed up your recovery. This means less time spent in the recovery room and less need for oxygen therapy.
  • Smokers often stay in hospital longer because the risk of complications are higher.
  • There is less likelihood of you developing a chest infection following therapy.
  • Wounds heal more quickly. Smoker’s wounds take longer to heal due to the effect of nicotine on the production of essential healing chemicals.
  • There is a lower risk of developing dangerous blood clots after surgery.
  • There is a reduced need for pain relief.

Hospital environments are totally smoke free, which means anyone visiting you in hospital won’t be able to smoke. Nicotine replacement therapy is available, so ask on the ward.