The Connection Between Smoking, Vaping and Low Birth Weight

Want to have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby? Making sure that your baby reaches a healthy weight is essential for their long-term overall health. Quitting smoking or vaping now could ensure their health and well-being for years to come. 


In Michigan, you have access to resources and programs that can help you have a healthy pregnancy and keep your baby at a healthy weight. 


Smoking and vaping during pregnancy can cause low birth weight. Here's why it matters. 


For a newborn, every ounce of weight matters. If you smoke or vape during pregnancy, it can prevent your baby from reaching a healthy weight. Weighing less than five pounds, eight ounces at birth can cause a lifetime of health complications, according to March of Dimes.

A low birth weight baby may have problems breathing, gaining weight, or fighting off infections, and that’s just the beginning. Later in life, they’re also more likely to have learning and developmental disabilities and health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. Low birth weight could mean a lifetime of challenges for both mom and baby. Spend time at home and not in a newborn intensive care unit. Quit smoking today with our help.


Some causes for low birth weight are out of your control, but deciding to quit smoking or vaping is a change you can make today. Taking steps to quit can make a big difference. The good news is, the sooner you stop smoking, the more you increase your chance of having a healthy baby.

Smoking during pregnancy makes you three and a half times more likely to have a low birth weight baby than women who don’t smoke. This means one out of every five babies born to mothers who smoke will be born too small or too early, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All types of smoke, including vapes (also called e-cigarettes) and marijuana, can have this effect. So can “secondhand smoke,” which is inhaled when you’re around people who are smoking.

If you’re an African American woman, you already face a higher risk of having a low birth weight baby than other women, according to March of Dimes. Smoking is an added risk factor that you have the power to control. Let us help you find some peace of mind and give you the best chance of having a healthy baby.


Wherever you are in your pregnancy or family planning process, quitting will benefit your baby. Considering quitting even if you suspect you might become pregnant. It’s hard, but we’re here to help. If you’ve already tried to quit smoking, try again with us. Even reducing the amount you smoke during pregnancy can help your baby’s health.

Our no-cost Tobacco Quit Program offers special resources for pregnant women. You’ll receive nine counseling calls, one dedicated female quit coach and gift card rewards for keeping appointments. All Quitline counseling is confidential and has no cost to you.

Call the Michigan Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669), 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

What to expect when you call

Your quit coach will help you do your best for yourself and your baby by:

  • Helping you enroll (it’s simple)
  • Signing you up to receive text messages, if you want them
  • Working with you to choose a quit date and build a personal quit plan
  • Identifying your motivations and triggers
  • Planning for stresses and new triggers that may come with pregnancy
  • Explaining the effects of smoking on babies and children

For more information visit our Maternity Care page or read more about our Tobacco Quit Program.