You've probably heard a million times that smoking is bad for you, particularly if you're pregnant. But since at least 10 percent of expectant moms in the U.S. still light up each year, here's a reminder: Tobacco has been linked to an increased risk of miscarriage, low birth weight, premature delivery, stillbirth, and developmental problems. "For smokers, quitting is the most important thing they can do to ensure a healthy baby," says Cheryl Healton, Dr. P.H., president/C.E.O. of the American Legacy Foundation, whose EX campaign focuses on changing the way people think about smoking. No one said kicking the habit is easy, so here are some tips to help:
* Pick a "quit day" -- the sooner the better -- and mark it on your calendar. On that date, get rid of all cigarettes and ashtrays in your home, car, and office, and declare those places smoke-free.
* Organize your cheerleaders. The encouragement of family and friends can be invaluable. If they smoke, ask them not to do so around you.