Avoid smoking, alcohol and drugs

A substance free pregnancy protects you and your baby’s future

Being smokefree during and after pregnancy reduces the risk of stillbirth, low baby birth weight and other complications.  Being smokefree also reduces the risk of Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI).  If someone offers, say ‘Thanks, but no thanks!.

The effects of smoking on your baby:

  • Miscarriage and still birth– smoking doubles the risk of losing baby
  • Premature birth
  • Low baby birth weight – this doesn’t mean an easier delivery but increases problems for mother and baby during pregnancy, delivery and after birth.
  • Perinatal Death (including still birth)
  • Increased risk of experiencing Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI)
  • Damage to babies organs, especially the lungs
  • Baby will be prone to having pneumonia, asthma, glue ear and other diseases
  • The narrowing of blood vessels so less blood gets through. Food and oxygen are cut back which stunts growth and affects development.


The effects of alcohol and drugs on your baby:

  • Miscarriage and still birth
  • At risk of being born with brain damage, mental disability and long term consequences
  • Premature birth - increases the risk of lung, eye, and learning problems in the infant. Preterm babies are also at increased risk for infection and death.
  • Low birth weight – this places babies at increased risk for illness, disability, and death.
  • Growth delays
  • Permanent learning and behavioural problems, low IQ, inattention, impulsivity, aggression and problems with social interaction



If you are a Pacific woman and you and/or your partner or family/aiga/fanau/magafaoa would like help to stop smoking, alcohol or drugs the following agencies are on hand to help:


Smokefree Beginnings
Smokefree Beginnings aims to provide pregnant women with support and understanding during the transition from smoker to smokefree. Quitting smoking is often a team and family effort.  My whanau - Smokefree for me.  Smokefree Beginnings is part of the wider smokefree programmes run by District Health Boards throughout the country.


Quitline offers support via telephone, text or online to those wanting to quit smoking. Quitline counsellors have a lot of experience in smoking cessation and can assist all people in achieving and maintaining abstinence. Quitline also provides an extremely active online blog community where quitting smokers and ex-smokers support each other to stay smokefree.

The Quitline number is 0800 778 778 or people can find out more online www.quit.org.nz


Aukati Kai Paipa
Aukati Kai Paipa offers a kanohi ki te kanohi (face-to-face) service that is delivered locally within most communities. The service assists Māori and their whānau to stop smoking and includes a mix of motivational counselling and on-going support.


Pacific Smoking Cessation Services
There are Pacific-focussed cessation support services covering the Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch regions. The Quit Coaches at each centre are fluent in ethnic Pacific languages and represent a cross section of the Pacific community in New Zealand. Face-to-face multisession support is provided to all clients.


Tupu Service (Auckland)
TUPU is a mobile Pacific Island Alcohol & Other Drug & Gambling Service which provides their services in the Auckland region. TUPU clinicians provide a range of appropriate Alcohol & Drug (AOD) interventions which are culturally relevant and designed to meet the needs of the client. The role of Tupu clinicians who work with Pacific people is to encourage positive outcomes from their journeys and to grow, hence the name of "Tupu".


National Addictions Treatment Directory
This service contains a regionalised database of all the publicly funded addiction treatment and advice services available anywhere in New Zealand. Anyone in New Zealand who is worried about their or someone else’s use of alcohol, drugs or gambling, can now look up the Directory on this website and find the addiction treatment service that is nearest to them.

Content provided by Dr Vili Nosa

Dr Vili Nosa is currently a Senior lecturer in Pacific Health, University of Auckland. Dr Vili Nosa has a BA in Education & Sociology, MA (Hons) in Sociology, and a PhD in Behavioural Science at the University of Auckland.  Key areas of research are alcohol, drugs, tobacco and substance abuse.  Vili is married to Daniella and a father to 3 children Maya, Graison and Brennah.