Tearful Chrissie Swan confesses to smoking while pregnant

2013-02-06_1007Can of Worms host Chrissie Swan has broken down on radio confessing that she struggled to give up smoking while pregnant.

Swan told listeners of her shame and difficulty in giving up the addiction, of up to 5 cigarettes a week, while pregnant with her third child.

Swan had not told her partner, family or friends.

The confession follows a photographer snapping a photo of her in the act.

A statement has been released:

“Over the last year I have take up a habit I thought I kicked for good years ago, smoking the occasional cigarette, in total secret and never more than 5 a week.

“I never told the chippy or my friends I’d taken it up again and I’m not sure I ever would have come out of hiding and acknowledged I was addicted but this week a pap photographer snapped me smoking a cigarette whilst alone in my car and I knew it was only a matter of time before it became public.

“This week has been difficult and confronting on so many levels, but in many ways I am grateful I was caught in the act, it has forced me to come clean to those I love and to seek real solutions for me to kick it for good.

“I’m horrified that even though I know that smoking whilst pregnant is bad for my child, I couldn’t stop, I’d try but I couldn’t, telling myself just one can’t be too bad, knowing that it was. When you’re in denial you can justify anything.

“It’s made me realise that addiction is very real and not just something that happens to other people.

“I don’t have to go through this alone and am thankful for my wonderful family and friends who are supporting me through this.” Chrissie Swan

MIX 101.1 Audio:

Statement: Watercooler Management:
“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.” David Wilson, Managing Director, Watercooler Talent + Media – statement.


  1. Wasn’t it convenient that all this came out the week before Can Of Worms returns to Channel 10!! I hate to be cynical but could all of this have been staged to get maximum publicity for the show? I write this just after seeing a promo for the show with the topic being “Can you keep a secret..”

    Sorry Chrissie & Channel 10 but I for one can’t ignore the coincidence.

  2. @ cynical old codger….no, i wasn’t referring to you being rude and poisonous. You’re stating your case and I’m stating mine. I can’t imagine Chrissie would be chasing media, especially when she’s sitting there smoking…or Manu for that matter. That is just pure assumption when we are all guessing which celebs organise to have the press follow them. But what I do read so often when people are making comment on others, especially in social media, is there rudeness. And obviously David Knox has held back some comments even on this very post alone because people are not getting their point across in a decent way.

  3. Wow $55,000 the photo was sold for. Im clearly in the wrong career. I like Chrissie but she isnt really an A list celeb.

    Imagine if u really got a good photo of a top celeb doing something wrong.

  4. cynical old codger


    I thought my first 3 words “Yes possibly unfair” accepted your premise, but lets be a bit fair dinkum though, I certainly do wonder sometimes just who is chasing who, and granted Chrissie is definitely at the very lower end of that scale, amid those who use the Pap’s Promo’s at their convenience.

    I certainly hope I have not been cast into your poisonous and rude basket, because I honestly thought I had politely and simply raised some often missed facts, and the possible impact upon those who may suffer ‘Innocent Consequences’

  5. @ cynical old codger. I am not condoning their behaviour, I am saying I wouldn’t want to be famous so every man and his dog could judge my mistakes And so many people can be quite poisonous and rude in how they express their opinion.

  6. Wonder how many ppl who are attacking her for smoking. Will drive their kids around in their diesel car. Which exhaust fumes has been proven to be just as dangerous when it comes to lung cancer and brain tumors etc as cigarette smoke?

  7. @scruffy, That’s a nice out “blame the government”, I guess that exonerates one from personal responsibility, which by the way it looks like Chrissie has now taken albeit belatedly – but good on her for not blaming anyone else including the government.

  8. Wow the anti smokers have jumped on their high horses over this. What they need to realise is that smoking is on the way out, but it takes time. After I was born to a mother who smoked throughout her pregnancy the hospital provided her with an ashtray. We have come a long way and will go even further. Blame the government who still allow cigarettes to be sold. People do have weaknesses, such as people who cant help but be self righteous.

  9. cynical old codger

    @David Knox

    David I can fully agree with you and yes we all have weaknesses and addictions, having watched my elderly father literally smoke himself to death, I also lost my elder brother to brain trauma as result of his smoking, and as with both of them, where smokes had such an insidious hold on my brother, as he was waiting for the ambulance on that fateful day his virtual last request was for a smoke.

    Some of my annoying addictions are, and is probably very evident in my posts, that there is always at least two sides to every story…going into to much detail….and that our lives are dictated by the good or bad choices we make along the way. for example well before all the anti smoking medical advice of today, and living with two smokers, I chose to never smoke.

    This may seem a bit harsh but after all what is known about the deadly results of smoking and passive/indirect smoking, and if you are a female who has an unbeatable smoking addiction, there is always still another equally responsible choice, of not having children till you can quit smoking( thus no innocent consequences).

    “What you see is what you get” does that include some strange ‘Project’ body/eye language?

    @Pahmer….Yes possibly unfair, but unfortunately both your examples have potential for innocent victim consequences, unaccompanied leaner driver will not have 3rd party insurance, eg. hit and kill a pedestrian breadwinning parent of ???children, and enough been said about Chrissie’s situation.

  10. Leppie, I appreciate your insight but my comments are more directed at those who do not smoke but make (have made) the choice to start. Given the points I raised, I cannot see any minute reason why smoking would be something that someone would choose to do.

  11. Good Luck Chrissie. We all have addictions. How many people could give up sugar. that means cakes, lollies soft drinks,chocolate etc. we are all addicted to something.

  12. It is not just when a woman is pregnant though, passive smoking around young children is also massively harmful and it seems even more widely practiced. I don’t understand why people think it is ok to just quit during pregnancy and then resume. On the project she said her children have never seen her smoke, I guess that means she is trying to keep them away from it but without specifics being provided I don’t understand how that is possible, most mothers I know can’t even escape from their children to go to the toilet in privacy. My mother smokes outside, but it still gets through the cracks and you can smell it inside, and when she comes inside the stink of it follows on her. My mother smoked while pregnant with me and quit while pregnant with my younger brother, she then stayed off them for 18 years and re-started in the last 5 years. I was born with a piece of bone missing in my neck that means regular physio for life and have been plagued with frequent joint injuries my whole life with weak shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees, ankles and hips. My brother was born with a heart valve defect which means lifelong yearly doctor monitoring and a reduced life expectancy, I blame smoking for all of this including my childhood asthma. Many people would consider us to have turned out “perfectly fine” while not knowing about the ongoing medical costs associated with minor health defects. Are all these people who turned out “perfectly fine” in absolute perfect health and could qualify for NASA or the army? and do you even know them closely enough to really be in a position to know their entire medical history?

  13. bennythejet, I don’t smoke, and I’m against cigarette use, but I assume that it has something to do with addiction…

    I’m sure most (or, a lot) of the people who do smoke are aware of the health risk associated, and wish to quit … but it’s not as easy as that. For most people, it takes a long time and several attempts to quit smoking.

    It’s an addiction. Addictions don’t suddenly disappear with a change of mind.

  14. Can someone who smokes please explain to me why in this day in age…
    • With all the medical proof that smoking is bad for you
    • Constant advertising to encourage people to quit/not start
    • The ever increasing price of cigarettes
    • Society’s constant move to ban smoking in various public places
    Why are people still taking up smoking?! It baffles me how anyone in the last 10-15 years, with all this information at hand, would actually want to start smoking.

  15. Well said David. I have successfully quit smoking, and always encourage others to use the same treatment as I did. But I never judge somebody for smoking, whether they are pregnant or not. It is extremely difficult to quit. Calls on her for Chrissie to be fired from her hosting role are just ridiculous !

  16. I hate smoking. I absolute hate everything about smoking. I hate the smell, the smoke haze and how it effects my breathing. It is one of the few bad things people do to their bodies that effects others to a massive degree due to second hand smoke. I personally wish smokers would have more consideration for non smokers and not smoke in such a way that affects others such in front of entryways to buildings or right before they get on transport so when the person walks in the vehicle the smell and haze is brought in and stinks the whole vehicle. We all need to breath clean air.

    In terms of this story I couldn’t care less. She is just one of many smokers. Its a filthy disgusting habit that I hope her and many others can give up. In a perfect world I wish smoking will be completed baned.

  17. The issue is clearly a divisive matter, and those who are informed and ill-informed are now weighing in, including some comments I have been unable to approve. As the matter is on the table with public statements such debate comes with the territory, but should always remain respectful.

    Addiction is a serious matter, and pregnant women are in a far more vulnerable position than those of us who are not.

    I can recount my own shock at seeing a heavily pregnant neighbour smoking, and my instant reaction at wanting to say something. Ultimately I decided it was not my business, but it was hard to walk away. The fact that someone has put this issue up for public debate is probably a good thing in the long term. Maybe that neighbour would not do it again after hearing the arguments, and knowing their addiction is not isolated. I don’t know.

    I do know that Chrissie Swan is a “what you see is what you get” woman. She admits she has weaknesses. We all have those. We don’t all have photographers following our every move. Rightly or wrongly, it is the price of a media career, alas.

    The Age has posted some helpful medical advice on the risks of smoking whilst pregnant and some contacts to quit.

  18. Am so glad I am not famous. Manu driving on his Ls without a person in the car with him….. Chrissie busted for smoking while pregnant…..All published for every man and his dog to make a judgement about their mistakes. (like we all haven’t made our own) The rest of us make mistakes, sometimes doing things we know we shouldn’t, but the difference is, our (general public) mistakes don’t get published in magazines/newspapers/online and/ or shown on tv, and/or heard on radio, and/or tweeted, and/or facebooked, and/or youtubed…..

  19. This was very difficult to listen to the audio as Chrissie becomes understandably emotional and in fact I had to stop. She’s admitted to doing something stupid. It’s not my job or that of anyone else to judge her.. i really feel for her in this situation.

  20. Armchair Analyst

    I wonder if she told her family first before on the radio show. I hope she did the right thing by her family. She obviously felt shame and thats why she held it in. I hope for her childs sake that he or she is healthy and will remain that way. Smoking is a very bad habit and it would be easier if it was banned, but reality is it wont be.

  21. Axe her as host of Can of Worms?

    Smoking while pregnant is (needless to say) a silly idea. Not only does it jeopardise the health of the child but can potentially stunt its growth and cause it to have birth defects. Seriously, do we want to put someone like this on national television? Ugh.

  22. Guys please go easy on Chrissie… she very likely reads these messages and she’s in a great deal of pain. She is not defending the smoking in any way and has had to face the humiliation of talking about it publicly. She is not the only woman who does this while pregnant and the one silver lining is that by talking about it in this way, she is helping other those in the same position to think about what they’re doing. She has got to be commended for that.

  23. without getting into the specifics of chrissies situation some of the comments here are just shocking. justifying smoking while pregnant just because someone you know turned out alright does not disprove all the facts and research. nor do the “its ok because quitting is hard” argument.

  24. This is one of those things that we’ve come to panic and obsess over even though we went centuries without realising it was even bad, because the evidence was scant. My Mother smoked through all four of her pregnancies and nothing came of it, as have millions of other Mums, but because there is a statistically tiny risk we’ve decided it’s unacceptable.

    I agree that it’s not a healthy thing to do, I seriously dislike smoking and always have, I’d be very happy if it was banned outright, but having a couple of sneaky ciggies while pregnant is not a big deal in the overall scheme of things.

  25. Smoking is harder to quit than heroin. My husband is currently in the throes of trying to quit after more than 45 years of being a smoker, at times an exeptionally heavy smoker (up to 100 cigarettes a day). When I met him 9 years ago he was on 50 a day.

    It’s not just a physical addiction, it’s psychological as well. So many things are a trigger for smoking (a coffee, getting in the car, talking on the phone, after meals, drinking alcohol). And yes, I am an ex smoker. I smoked while pregnant with my first child, quit before I had my second. Hardly any difference in birth weights and both kids were healthy.

    I sympathise with Chrissie and hope she manages to quit for good.

  26. I absolutely love Chrissie and I hope she finds a way to give up smoking for good and I hope she gets the support she needs from her family and friends.

  27. So what ! My mother and many others of her generation smoked while pregnant, and it didn’t do many or others any harm. People on here saying “I hate people who smoke” and “socially abhorrent” need to take a reality check. By the way I am an ex-smoker.

  28. zemule – don’t let your affection for someone on the tv cloud your judgement of what is socially abhorrent. Please don’t confuse her confession with doing the right thing in first place.
    She only came clean because she got caught … like everyone else who lives a public life.
    And finally – remember the “5 cigarettes” claim is her’s and there is no corroboration. Every journo knows to take a one-sided story with a grain of salt. Unless of course it’s TT or ACA.

  29. I am a big Chrissie fan, but I hate people who smoke. I do feel sorry for her how it came all about and she really doesn’t need any extra stress put on her while she is pregnant.

  30. Chrissie is such an amazing woman, being able to share this with not only her listeners but her family and friends who will hear it also. You’re not alone Chrissie. No matter what is said by anyone, you are amazing and your beautiful family is testament to that. We all have our secrets, and you make us realise just how normal that is.

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