Smoking before and during pregnancy is the single most preventable cause of illness and death among mothers and infants. In Maine, 16% of women who are pregnant smoke. Among Maine's pregnant teens, that rate soars to 28% – double the national average. Pregnant women of low socioeconomic status are at particular risk of tobacco use and its dangers, during and after pregnancy.
Pregnant mothers are a priority in Maine’s efforts toward tobacco use prevention. Find information about smoking and pregnancy by reading the Pregnant Women Fact Sheet.
When it comes to relapse for new mothers, the percentages escalate. Of women who smoked three months before pregnancy, 45% quit during pregnancy, but half of those who quit relapse to smoking within six months. While women who quit smoking before or early in pregnancy significantly reduce the risk for serious health dangers, the stress of pregnancy makes it harder to quit for good. Financial burdens, the stress of a new baby, and having a partner or friends and family that smoke can have a considerable damaging influence on new mothers.
Smoking and the effects of secondhand smoke for the mother, fetus and newborn are serious and deadly both in the short and long term.
While the health consequences are numerous, pregnant women who have received quitting support counseling are more likely to quit smoking. Providing tips and resources can double a smoker’s chances of quitting. Learn about new concerns for Providers and how they can help pregnant patients and clients stay smoke free.
Find more information about how expectant mothers can keep themselves, their baby and their families tobacco free by visiting our Parents section.