How to quit smoking before becoming pregnant

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For every triumphant smoker who flushes their last pack down the toilet and swears never to buy another, there’s another who finds herself sneaking off to 7-Eleven to buy a new one after quitting. There’s no way around it: Stopping smoking is arduous, frustrating and requires a whole lot of willpower. However, as previously discussed, it’s essential to quit if you’re even thinking of becoming pregnant. Here are a few tricks to keep in mind.

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  • Make it public. Step #1: Tell everyone. Tell your friends. Tell your partner. Tell Facebook, Twitter and whatever other social media you frequent. Call your mom and tell her that you and those cigarettes are O-V-E-R. You’re much less likely to cheat if you have friends and family to hold you to your promise.

  • Keep a journal. Keep track of when you feel cravings, what sets them off, and what coping mechanisms you use to deal with them. If you cheat and smoke a cigarette or take a puff of someone else’s, write that down too. Slipping once does not mean you should give up entirely, and you need to continue to keep yourself accountable.

  • Strategize. Think of potentially dangerous pitfalls in advance and come up for ideas on what to do with them (these can go in your journal too). Do you smoke more when you drink? Maybe minimize your alcohol intake or stay away from bars for the first couple weeks. Do you need something to do with your hands? Buy a stress ball or something to fidget with. Edgy? Take up yoga, slowly drink a glass of water, silently count to 10, or take several slow, deep breathes. Frustrated? Remind yourself why you’re doing this in the first place and how important it is.

  • Track and reward your efforts. When was the last time you smoked? How many baht have you saved since then by not smoking? Find milestones and celebrate them however you choose. Buy yourself that slightly expensive dress from Siam Paragon that you wanted; eat something rich and chocolatey; go do something fun with friends or your partner. You’ve earned it.

Get extra support. Your loved ones will always be your biggest source of support, but if you’re looking for others in your situation, it might be worth looking a bit farther. Quitnet (, the world’s largest online community for quitters, lets you privately message

Looking for a doctor for your internal medicine questions? We recommend:
Yada Louischaroen, M.D.Yada Louischaroen, M.D.
Pulmonary Critical Care, Samitivej Hospital
Questions about your pregnancy, child birth or life with an infant? Ask the Doctor!

Photo Credit: Valentin.Ottone via Compfight cc

Expecting Expats is the online resource for parents in and around Thailand.

We provide lifestyle and medical content to our visitors, with new content posted daily. Our lifestyle contributors are themselves expat moms who share their experiences and lessons learned through blog articles. We also provide medical content from our partner doctors at Samitivej Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand. Articles of interest span from before pregnancy through the toddler years and cover medical, behavioral and cognitive issues.

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