Tommy's PregnancyHub

Effects of smoking on your baby

When you smoke your baby does too.

Every cigarette contains 4,000 chemicals, which go into your lungs when you smoke. Once they've gone into your lungs, the nicotine, poisons and carbon monoxide cross the placenta to the baby.

Nicotine narrows your blood vessels, which reduces the blood flow in the placenta. Less blood means less oxygen and nutrients reach the baby and because of this they may not grow as well as expected. Babies born to smokers tend to weigh less at birth than babies born to non-smokers.

Get help to stop smoking

  1. NHS Choices [accessed 28/04/2015] Smoking and pregnancy
  2.  RCP 2010, Passive Smoking and Children,  
  3.  Smoking in Pregnancy: Communication with Women Working Group (2015) Shared key messages
Review dates
Reviewed: 01 October 2016
Next review: 01 October 2019

This content is currently being reviewed by our team. Updated information will be coming soon.