For most people, the risk of blood clots when using the ring, the patch, or the combined birth control pill (which is the most common type of pill) is low. But smoking increases this risk. If you are over 35 and smoke 15 or more cigarettes a day, the combination pill, patch, and ring are not safe options for you. If you’re over 35 and you smoke less than 15 cigarettes a day, talk to your provider about whether these birth control methods are safe options for you. People who smoke can always use the IUD, the implant, the shot, the mini-pill (progestin-only pill), and any method that is hormone free (like condoms, for example).