While many women kick the habit when they find out that they are expecting a baby, 24-year-old Chloe Forrester from Southend insists that there is ‘nothing wrong’ with keeping up her 40-a-day habit, and she is still smoking two packs a day while being 32 WEEKS PREGNANT. According to Chloe, many of her pregnant friends in the area have other habits that are just as unhealthy, and she has no plans to quit before her baby girl is due to be born in July. She has only agreed to speak to Southend News Network as she is keen to let other young mums know that they have the freedom to make their own choices during pregnancy and not be ‘bullied’ by NHS marketing campaigns and the negative opinions of other people.

Ms Forrester said: ‘I smoked before I found out the exciting news, I have smoked throughout my whole pregnancy, and I feel absolutely fine at the moment – I am sick and tired of everyone telling me that I am supposedly depriving my baby of oxygen and letting her inhale harmful chemicals. I don’t pay a lot of attention to the posters that I see in midwife centres and the doctors’ surgery, and I can feel her kicking all day long. It seems that there is something new every single week that isn’t good for you anymore, and my mum, grandma, great-grandma and great-great-grandma all smoked while they were carrying. We all turned out OK, and I want young pregnant women to realise that they have the choice to smoke while they are pregnant. A baby takes its first breath shortly after the birth has happened anyway, and so I can’t see how my darling daughter will be affected while she is in my womb! Never trust everything that the media tells you, that’s what I say.’

She added: ‘Some of my other friends go out drinking four or five times a week and they are due to give birth any day now, yet as soon as someone sees me smoking in the street I am the one who gets all of the grief and dirty looks – it’s my body and I will choose what I do with it. I keep seeing stories online about proud pregnant women who are weightlifting while being heavily pregnant and some of these really muscly weightlifters take drugs and pull muscles in their wombs. If cigarettes are so bad for me, why am I able to buy them everywhere? I believe that I am doing my baby a favour in the long run as when she is old enough to try her first cigarette her body will be able to handle it, and I know deep down that she will thank me.’