I was 15 when I took a drag of my first cigarette. The year was 1994. It was a Newport 100. All the cool kids were doing it, as cliche as that sounds. I thought nothing of it, except that I was also now cool. Never did I imagine that it would begin the longest relationship I’ve ever had. I smoked, on and off, for 11 years. I finally quit, cold turkey, when I was 26. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. That was nine years ago.
I had a mild case of The Relapses a few times over the years, rare as they were. And they only ever consisted of a drag or two of a friend’s smoke. (Save a handful of wild nights.) But it’s since been years that I’ve had a cigarette. Truth be told, my smoking history is one of my most shameful and embarrassing. I always knew it was bad for me. I always knew it was making me older and uglier before my time.
But I was addicted.
Cigarettes today completely disgust me. In fact, I’m that person who yells at people who smoke right in front of doors and entryways, especially if there’s some sort of “no smoking within X amount of feet” sign. But my history allows me to understand just how hard it can be to quit. It also proves that it can be done. Quitting was one–if not the–best decision I’ve ever made for my health.
No one is going to say it’s okay to smoke during pregnancy. There aren’t conflicting reports like there are with drinking while pregnant or eating fish, or exercising, etc. While two glasses of wine a week might not harm your baby, no one is saying that a few cigs aren’t that bad. It’s bad, ladies. Actually, it’s downright terrible to smoke during pregnancy. A Google search will turn up countless reasons why it’s pretty much the worst thing you can do for your baby, but trust me: I’m not here to judge or lecture you.
Instead, I want to say this: I know it’s hard. But you’ve got to and CAN do it. Let these tips on how to quit smoking while pregnant help you.
Read more of Aela’s writing at Two Moms Make a Right
And don’t miss a post!