Quit Your Way on No Smoking Day

No Smoking Day - Quit Your wayNew and expectant parents can reduce the risk of SUDI (sudden unexpected death in infancy) by taking action to quit smoking today.

As well as the benefits to your own health, choosing not to smoke is beneficial for your baby right from the start which is why this topic features heavily in the Safe Sleep messaging we deliver.

It has been shown from many studies into the effects of maternal smoking during pregnancy that there is an increased risk of SUDI as well as other health conditions. The amount of smoking during pregnancy also has an impact with research stating that over 20 cigarettes a day during pregnancy can increase the risk of SUDI up to nine times compared to a non-smoker.

After baby is born, you should keep their environment completely free from smoke to reduce the risk of SUDI too. This includes your home, car, and anywhere else baby might be travelling to. ASH Scotland’s latest figures show that 6% of children around the country are still regularly exposed to second-hand smoke in the home.

Babies are more vulnerable to second-hand smoke because their airways are narrow, they breathe faster than adults, and their immune systems are still developing. Second-hand cigarette smoke is dangerous for babies because it limits the amount of oxygen circulating in their body. If a baby gets used to low levels of oxygen, they may not wake up if oxygen levels dip during sleep. By keeping baby’s airways clear of smoke you are reducing one risk in their environment, but many of the other safe sleep messages centre around keeping their airways clear too. Sharing this information with friends and family ensures that everyone is on the same page when it comes to creating a safer smoke-free environment.

It can be a challenge to quit smoking but there is support available so you can #QuitYourWay.

Here are a few ideas to help you get started;

  • Find out about local support services through your midwife or GP.
  • Make a list of reasons why you are quitting so you can be reminded of the benefits.
  • Identify when you crave cigarettes and implement distractions during these times.
  • Set goals with a family member or friend who also wants to quit and encourage each other.
  • Download the NHS Quit Smoking app or visit Quit Your Way Scotland

For more information about how to reduce the risk of SUDI visit Safe Sleep Scotland.