Quitting smoking changes the lives of two new parents
The dramatic birth weight difference between both my boys shows just what a difference smoking when pregnant can make. Quitting has really put my mind at ease.
Parents Katie Smith* and her partner, Jack Woods*, quit smoking together whilst pregnant with their second child, and agree it’s the best thing they’ve ever done. Now – as well as feeling much healthier – they’ve been able to furnish a new home with the money they’ve saved.
Katie and Jack who live in Greater Manchester have been together from the age of 15. Both smoked before they met and at one point were smoking around 40 cigarettes a day each.
Katie said: “At school everyone smoked so I just joined in. When you’re young you think it’s cool – it isn’t! When Jack and I became a couple, we were both smokers and so we smoked together. We thought smoking was social and whenever we went out, we would end up smoking more – chain smoking in fact.
“10 years ago, we had our first baby when we were 18. There wasn’t as much support around back then and, although I cut down significantly, I smoked during the pregnancy. Our baby boy, Evan, was born four weeks premature and had a low birth weight. I felt incredibly guilty, but the thought of quitting smoking didn’t even come into my head. Both Jack and I have very busy, stressful jobs and smoking helped us cope – or so we thought.
“Last year, my mum sadly passed away, so we moved from Yorkshire to Greater Manchester to support my father. Shortly afterwards I fell pregnant with my second baby. This time I was much more worried about my smoking than the first time around. I was thinking about issues such as cot death.
“My midwife Julie Bancroft, who is a smoking cessation specialist, was great. She talked to me about all the different treatments that you can get to help you stop smoking and I decided e-cigarettes were the best option for me.
Stopping smoking was so much easier than I thought it would be, particularly using e-cigarettes.
“When I went to buy an e-cigarette for myself, I got one for Jack too so that we could do it together. Surprisingly it’s been really easy. We haven’t smoked since!
“My second pregnancy went really well. It was the complete opposite of my first labour. This time, they had to induce me early as my baby was getting too big. Jude was born at 38 weeks on 24th August 2021 weighing 7lbs 15ozs.
“The dramatic birth weight difference between both my boys shows just what a difference smoking when pregnant can make. Quitting has really put my mind at ease – I’m certainly not worried about cot death anymore.
“Stopping smoking was so much easier than I thought it would be, particularly using e-cigarettes. It never felt like I was giving up because the e-cigarette just felt like a normal cigarette – but I knew it was so much less harmful than tobacco. Jack quitting at the same time also helped as we were in it together.
“Health-wise, we feel so much better. We don’t get out of breath anymore and have lots more energy. And money-wise, it’s been amazing. We were buying four packs of cigarettes a day and at almost £10 per pack that very quickly mounts up. We moved house after stopping smoking and with the money we’ve saved, we’ve been able to buy lots of new furniture including the biggest sofa ever and brand-new baby furniture for Jude’s room.
“Anyone thinking about quitting, should just go for it. We did and we haven’t looked back.”
*Please note names have been changed in this article and images used are stock photographs