Kerry Katona has defended Stacey Solomon's decision to smoke while pregnant.

The reality TV star also lit up while expecting her kids Molly, now 10, Lilly-Sue, nine, Heidi, five, and three-year-old Max and thinks it would have caused more stress to quit the deadly habit.

Writing in her column for OK! magazine, Kerry said: ''I got the same criticism Stacey got. I smoked during pregnancy, two to three a day.

''My doctor said, 'If it's stressing you out don't panic, because smoking isn't as harmful as stress'. Let's be honest, Stacey's smoking Silk Cut - it's not even a real cigarette.''

Stacey - who is seven months pregnant with her second child, her first with fiance Aaron Barham - was axed from the judging panel of Foxy Bingo's Celebrity Mum of the Year shortlist, which she won in 2011, after being caught smoking.

However, the 22-year-old star admitted she ''deserved'' the criticism she had received, and insisted she had cut down on the habit since falling pregnant.

She said: ''All of the responses are something that I deserve. I don't for one minute think I can sit here and say it is OK - so I can accept that kind of criticism and although it's not nice to hear I know that its true [the health risks] and maybe that will give me more power to stop it and nip it in the bud.

''I really have been and am in the process of giving up before these pictures came out. 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.''