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Chrissie Swan confesses to smoking while pregnant.

Chrissie Swan.

UPDATE: It’s been revealed that Chrissie’s management team were in a bidding war with Women’s Day to buy the photos of her smoking while pregnant.

Her team reportedly put in a final bid for $53,000. The photos were sold to Women’s Day for $55,000. New Idea were also in the running, but pulled out after a bid of $30,000.

On Wednesday Mamamia reported:

One of Australia’s best loved media personalities, Chrissie Swan has admitted on breakfast radio this morning to smoking while pregnant.

Chrissie, who is currently pregnant with her third child, was caught on camera by a paparazzi photographer, smoking alone in her car earlier this week. When she was younger, Chrissie was a heavy smoker but had given up the habit a few years ago.

Chrissie chose to come clean to her friends, family, colleagues and devoted listeners before the photos were released, admitting that she has found it very difficult to quit whilst pregnant.

This is what Chrissie said on the radio this morning with her co-host Jane and guest, Jamie.

Chrissie: This is a very big moment for me and I’m very nervous. Is it just me or did you have trouble giving up smoking when you were pregnant? That’s right, I have a confession.
(Cries, voice starts to break) And that is that I have struggled terribly with totally giving up cigarettes since I found out that I was pregnant.

Jane: OK. That’s alright.

Chrissie: Up until about six years ago, I was what I would call a ‘full time’ smoker, I really gave it a nudge in um, in my twenties, as a lot of us did. Then I met ‘The Chippy’ who has never smoked and I cut back a lot. Jamie, you knew me then.

Jamie: Yeah, I knew you when you smoked a lot and I knew you when you met Chippy, I, yes.

Chrissie: And then I got pregnant with Leo and I quit completely. For a couple of years which was fantastic. Now sadly I picked it up again about a year ago but I was what I would call a ‘not really’ smoker. I never smoked at home and I never smoked around my family.

Jane: It’s alright.

Chrissie Swan

Chrissy: (Cries) I’d just sneak a few here and there and I know I’m not alone in this. Mainly I would do it in the car, in fact, I would only do it in the car when I was certain that I was alone. Then I found out six months ago that I was pregnant and it was a massive surprise and I tried to go cold turkey like I did with Leo and I was confident that I could do it. But I couldn’t do it. And I just failed and failed. (Cries) Time after time. I’d win for a few days and then I would have a cigarette and I would feel terrible and wracked with guilt and then I’d be off the cigarettes for a week and then I’d get stressed out and I’d have one again. Giving up is so hard and, I’ve really learned that in these last six months. These are not excuses, there are no excuses for smoking, absolutely none. I don’t have one, I would, I would love to find one and I can’t. When I realised I was having difficulty I went online and I looked for ways to quit and the first step, because you know I’m mad for Google

Jane: God.

Chrissy: The first step was find the right time to quit, that was step one. (Takes deep breath) And ordinarily that would be the easiest step of all, um, but at the time I was so busy and with so much on, I had two radio shows, Can of Worms had just started, a new TV show. Interstate travel every week, I had a weekly column, a relationship and a house to run, I was selling my house, I was trying to find somewhere else to live, I have a four year old as you know and Kit wasn’t even one year old yet and there didn’t seem to be any time at all, let alone the ‘right time’. So I kept trying and falling down and the constant disappointment of feeling a failure had made me. (Sniff)

And I came up with a compromise with myself. It’s so stupid but I made a deal. I would go easy on myself and smoke a few a week. Only when absolutely necessary, after work, alone, in the car and I figured it couldn’t do any damage and it would let me deal with properly quitting when I wasn’t so busy later on. Well, two days ago a photographer followed me in my car after work and took a photo of me having that sneaky cigarette, it was my first for the week. I begged the photographers not to run the story because I know how bad it looks, it is bad.

Jane: Mmm.

Chrissie: And I also told them that it was a deeply shameful secret (Sniff) No one knew that I was having these five cigarettes a week. Not my mum, not my best friend, not my partner, not even you and Jamie.

Jane: No.

Chrissie: Because it’s so, you know, the secret that is the most shameful is the hardest to ask for help about. (Sniff) And here’s the truth. Obviously I know it is wrong, I’m not an idiot. No smoker wants to smoke, especially when they are pregnant but it is clearly an addiction and a very serious one because it can cloud your judgement and can make the unthinkable somehow ok. (Takes deep breath) As a listener to this show, you know I am devoted to my children. (Takes deep breath)

I would never do anything to harm them. (Sniff) And yet here I am, having five cigarettes a week and justifying it, it’s madness.(Sniff)
I cannot explain it. I knew it was wrong but there’s so much terrible judgement that only awful people and bad parents and idiots and bogans smoke during pregnancy and I didn’t feel like I belonged in any of those categories. (Sniff)

So I kept it all under wraps and dealt with it how I could, I felt that there

You can listen to Chrissie’s emotional confession on the radio here.

Following on from Chrissie’s announcement, her manager David Wilson had this to say:

“It is a very difficult time for Chrissie and her family. This (smoking) is something Chrissie has kept hidden from those closest to her for a long time.

It has been and continues to be a very real and difficult personal struggle for Chrissie to overcome.

Chrissie is horrified and heartbroken she couldn’t find the strength to quit whilst pregnant. Addiction is serious and smoking is an incredibly difficult habit to kick.

These past few days have galvanised Chrissie’s commitment to take the steps needed to stop it once and for all with the full support of those she loves and love her.”

Chrissie in tears on The Project on Wednesday night.

Now, most of us don’t have paparazzi photographers following our every move and we’ve all got elements of our lives we keep secret – even from those closest to you.

There are things we do that we know we shouldn’t. There are things we do even though we do better. Some are small. Some are big. Some are… monumental. And the longer they go on, the harder it can be to confess the truth.

But as Chrissie pointed out this morning, sometimes being honest with yourself and coming clean to those around you can be the first step to putting something right.

So here is your chance MM-ers…

Comment under your usual log in or anonymously, what do you keep secret?

Editor’s Note: Please note that while we recognise the extreme dangers of smoking while pregnant, the dinner party rules still apply here on this post – editors won’t be allowing any comments that personally attack Chrissie to be published. (You can find more info on our comment policy here)

Also, we want you to be informed. For  information about the health risks associated with smoking during pregnancy click here. And for support in giving up smoking during pregnancy you can click here.


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