What would you do if you saw a pregnant woman smoking?

Hi all! I saw a pregnant woman smoking, and really felt like I should’ve said something to her, but I didn’t. My husband didn’t want me to, so I didn’t. I’m a new Catholic and am wondering if we are obligated as Catholics to say something in situations like this?:confused:

No, I wouldn’t say anthing. There’s been enough information out there that if someone is smoking when pregnant, the person knows the risk. Saying something to the woman would not accomplish anything and we are not obligated to say something.

Mind your business and let it go. I am sure her doctor is discussing this with her, and she has had plenty of others mention this to her.

Pray for the health of the mother and baby and let it go.

Mind my own business.

Most people know the dangers of smoking and especially while pregnant. It is obviously a personal choice, albeit not a wise one.

If it were a family member or close friend I would say something as I have some kind of relationship with them. But a perfect stranger, nope.

I’d mind my own business. Everyone knows the dangers of smoking, but then you have to remember, there was a time when most people smoked, when smoking was basically a rite of passage, there have been many many pregnant smokers, and most of the babies have been okay. I hate to sound like that, but it’s true.

Pray for her and her baby. People aren’t stupid, they already know that tobacco is dangerous.

I would probably mind my own business, but it would annoy me. I get annoyed when people smoke around other people as well, especially kids. The lady across the street always smokes three or four as she holds her baby and waits for her older child to get off the school bus. Once, I saw the toddler get squirmy and knock the cigarette out of her hand and down the neck of her jacket. I have to admit, I enjoyed that scene immensely. Alas, it had no lasting effect. The next day she was out there again, blowing cancer into her baby’s face and dropping the butts into my grass. Grrr.

stay out of it. she may be trying to quit but can’t. Unlike some other Christian groups, smoking isn’t viewed officially as sinful by the Catholic Church. Yes it is unhealthy but not on the official sin list. So your idea that you are obligated as a Catholic to say something to a total stranger is misguided.

Thanks everyone!


Smoking while pregnant is pretty different from just smoking. If you smoke on our own, then you are only hurting yourself. If you smoke while pregnant, you are hurting an innocent baby who can’t even speak for himself. This issue hits a personal button with me because my mother was borderline abusive with the cigarettes when I was a kid. I’m allergic to the smoke. It makes my eyes spew greenish goo and it makes my throat ache and swell with laryngitis. Even so, my mother didn’t care. She smoked in my face. She smoked at the table while we were eating. She smoked in the car with the windows rolled up. If I complained, I was told to shut up and if I continued, I was disciplined. On more than one occasion I was disciplined for “fake coughing”. It might not be a sin to poison oneself, but I don’t see how it could not be a sin to subject an innocent, helpless person to the discomfort and ill effects of your own addiction.

The nicotine addiction doesn’t go away just because she became pregnant.

You could venture saying something, but 99+ out of 100, it’s going to be like informing a person that just got bit by a rattlesnake that they just got bit by a rattlesnake.

I totally and basically agree. I hate smoking myself and can’t stand even a whiff of the smell but thinking that someone is “obligated” to go up to a total stranger and tell them that they shouldn’t be smoking because they are pregnant is still off base and none of her business and is making a bunch of assumptions here. How do you know that this women’s ob-gyn has not already spoken to her? To do think by doing this that this person is going to suddenly drop it and say “Oh my, my bad?” No, i think what might entail is probably an angry or annoyed response that isn’t going to cause this lady to quit any faster. Again, I am sorry about your own personal experience. Yes smoking is horrible but approaching a total stranger to tell them stop is only going to backfire and most likely will bring up defensiveness instead of the desire stoppage.

Oh…smoking cigarettes…I missed the cigarette inference initially and thought I would have someone call 911 while I rolled her on the ground!:smiley:

I would let her know that nicotine is a poison three times more deadly than arsenic, and that tobaco extract was frequently used as a potent home grown insecticide on mom and pop farms.

I would ask her-- " do you realize you may be harming your unborn baby by smoking?" This is a serious matter. I’m really shocked by the wimpiness of some of the answers here!

Would you do the same thing if you saw her eating junk food? That can lead to diabetes which is also harmful to the unborn baby.

What about if she was buying cat litter? Would you tell her that you hope she is not cleaning out the carbon?

Drinking a cola or a cup of coffee? Eating a chocolate bar? Women are told not to have caffeine when pregnant.

Like I said earlier, I wouldn’t say anything to a stranger. My point was against the argument that it isn’t a sin to smoke while pregnant. I might say something to someone I know well, but I would probably ask them if they’d asked their doctor about the gum or the e-cigs as a better choice for pregnant women. (I honestly don’t know if they are or not.) I always appreciated it when people stood up for me regarding my mother’s smoking us out. She would usually stop for a while when someone said something, because she didn’t want her friends to think she was a bad mother. It reallly depends on the relationship you have with that person. Obviously, a complete stranger is not likely to listen to you.

It takes alot more than an occasional french fry to give someone diabetes. A stranger buying cat litter could easily have a husband who does the litter box. Most doctors say that a cup of coffee is safe and reasonable for a pregnant woman each day. That’s why it would be inappropriate to say anything to a stranger about those things. You might say something to someone you know, if you know this is a continuing, harmful pattern, but you don’t have enough info to say something to a stranger. They might not be doing anything wrong. However, I’ve never heard a doctor say that a little bit of smoking is okay for a pregnant woman.

Those aren’t remotely in the same league. the junk food and coffee are fine in moderation, and provided she is careful washing up, I imagine the risk of toxoplasmosis is fairly low.

When you smoke you take in all manner of dangerous substances, not least of which is nicotine. (see my previous post.) There is no safe and moderate level of smoking she could be doing. I would say something if she was huffing raid too.

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