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Tobacco, Vaping, and Cannabis

Reducing and quitting tobacco, vaping, and cannabis products when planning for a pregnancy

​​​​​​​​​​​Reducing and ultimately quitting your use of tobacco, vaping, and cannabis products is recommended when planning for a pregnancy.

Smoking and vaping can negatively affect your fertility. The quality of sperm is affected by using tobacco, nicotine, and cannabis. Smoking tobacco and using cannabis are also linked to testicular cancer, which can lead to infertility and low sperm count.

Couples who don’t use tobacco, vaping, or cannabis products while trying to get pregnant have a lower risk of miscarriage and babies with birth defects.

People who smoke have smaller babies. This may seem beneficial for vaginal birth, but there are many serious health risks for you and your baby, and it doesn’t mean the birth will be easier. Stopping your use of, and exposure to, tobacco, vaping, and cannabis will support a healthier pregnancy and birth experience for you, as well as promote healthy brain development for your baby. To learn more about exposure to tobacco, vaping, and cannabis, see information on how to reduce harm at home and Health Canada’s guide on how to make your home and car smoke-free.

Not using tobacco, vaping, and cannabis products is the safest choice when you are trying to get pregnant. If you make this change, think about your own motivations to reduce and quit, and not just for the pregnancy. When you can find reasons to stay clear of smoking and vaping beyond the years you are planning for a pregnancy, you and your family will continue to benefit.

You may find reducing or quitting tobacco and vaping products really hard. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about quitting medicine to help you reduce and quit, or about lower-risk nicotine product options. For more support, visit AlbertaQuits or call the helpline at 1-866-710-7848.

If you aren’t able to stop using cannabis completely, try to reduce your risk of harmful effects by following the lower-risk cannabis use guidelines (PDF). For help with cannabis, call the Alberta Health Services Addiction Helpline at 1-866-332-2322.

For more information about your health during the years that you can have a baby (preconception health), visit Ready or Not Alberta.

Current as of: February 3, 2023

Author: Tobacco, Vaping and Cannabis Program, Alberta Health Services