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Stress worse than smoking - Katona

Kerry Katona has defended smoking mother-to-be Stacey Solomon by claiming it does not count because she only puffs on low-tar cigarettes.

Katona - who smoked while pregnant herself - said the fuss over Solomon's habit, which led to her being stripped of her Mum of the Year title, had probably caused more harm than the cigarettes.

And in her column for OK! magazine she claimed: "There's no harm having the odd puff now and then."

Katona claimed doctors advised her that she would be fine smoking "the odd one", because stressing about it would be even more damaging.

She said former X Factor star Solomon probably wanted to smoke even more due to the worry.

"And she only smokes Silk Cut which aren't even like having a cigarette because you have to puff so hard," she added.

Katona, who says she has suffered from bipolar disorder and has had drug problems, said it would be common for women in the past to smoke and drink throughout their pregnancies.

"My mum smoked all the way through her pregnancy with me and I turned out in the best of health," she wrote.

The British Heart Foundation was critical of Katona's comments and said it was "disappointing" that they emerged on national No Smoking Day.

Doireann Maddock, senior cardiac nurse at the charity, said smoking "can harm both the mum and the baby".

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