No smoking sign

Scientific evidence shows that around 30% of sudden infant deaths could be avoided if mothers didn’t smoke when they were pregnant.

Taken together with the risks of smoking around a baby at home, this means that smoking could be linked to 60% of sudden infant deaths.

  • Both you and your partner should try not to smoke during pregnancy and after the birth
  • Smoking both during pregnancy and after your baby is born greatly increases the chance of SIDS, and your baby can be affected by either you or your partner smoking
  • You should also keep your baby out of smoky areas – Don’t let people smoke near your baby and keep your home, car, and other places your baby spends time, smoke free
  • If you or your partner smoke, you should not share a bed with your baby as this greatly increases the chance of SIDS even if you do not smoke in the bedroom

If you smoke 1-9 cigarettes a day during pregnancy you are more than four times as likely to have a baby die as a sudden infant death than a woman who didn’t smoke at all during pregnancy.

Even if you did smoke when you were pregnant, you should still try not to expose your baby to smoke after birth as this can help reduce the risk of sudden infant death. Quitting smoking is not easy and will require a lot of discipline, but it is an effort worth making.

For help and advice to stop smoking, try the NHS Smoking Helpline on 0800 0224 332 or visit the NHS website

Read the latest guidance regarding e-cigarettes on our website.