Stacey is caught lighting up 2 months before her baby is due

Stacey Solomon has admitted to smoking 6 cigarettes a day despite being 7 months pregnant with her second child.

Former The X Factor contestant Stacey, 22, said she was ‘hugely embarrassed’ after being spotted lighting up in an alleyway outside London photographic studio The Works over the weekend.

‘I know it doesn’t look good but I only have a few cigs a day,’ says Stacey.

‘I don’t think I’ve let down my fans, but I do get a little stressed at times and a ciggie helps me calm down.

‘I desperately want to stop smoking and I don’t want to set a bad example. It’s a tough habit to break but I’m going to give it my best shot.’

Stacey – who is already mum to 3-year-old son Zachary – announced she was expecting a baby with fiancé Aaron Barnham, 24, in October.

But the nicotine-reliant singer says her doctor advised her it would be ‘more stressful’ on her body if she stopped smoking completely.

‘If Stacey is smoking at 7 months she’s got a serious problem,’ Chief executive of charity Action On Smoking And Health Deborah Arnott tells The People.

‘She is to be pitied as she’s obviously heavily addicted.

‘She needs help not condemnation.’

Stacey today admits she deserves the criticism she’s received but is working hard to give up.

‘It’s something I’m not proud of and I’m really, really struggling with in general,’ she tells Loose Women.

‘It’s not just because everyone knows now. Its something that I don’t want to do and that I’m not happy doing so it’s horrible.

‘It’s a horrible habit and I care more about my children than anything in the whole wide world so anything I can do to give up means more to me than anything else or what anyone thinks.’

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Anna Duff