Pregnant women still smokers

by Jenny Novac on December 10, 2012

Just about one-quarter of pregnant women in Scotland are still smoking when they were first checked-up in hospital.

Regardless of a risk to their unborn child, a lot of pregnant women agree they have not quit smoking when they speak to their midwife for a “booking-in appointment”.

Pregnant Smoker

Smoking during pregnancy

The data, unveiled by the NHS Information Services Division, cover the first meeting with a midwife, which typically happens between 8 and 12 weeks into the pregnancy.

Smoking heightens the chance of babies receiving infections and developing asthma. Children of people who smoke are also more susceptible to smoke themselves when they are older.

The Scotland average for pregnant women still smoking is one-fifth (19.3 percent). Nevertheless, in NHS Ayrshire and Arran, the figure leaped to 25.9 percent.

Other health boards which documented a high amount of pregnant women include Dumfries and Galloway at 24.6 percent, Fife (23.3 percent), Borders (22.5 percent) and Tayside (22.2 percent).

At the last place was Western Isles, where 14.4 percent of pregnant women were smokers at their booking-in appointment.

Young pregnant women most probably continue smoking – 40.1 percent of those aged under 20 and 32 percent in the 20-24 age group.

The statistics as well display that when they first have been observed, 17.3 percent of pregnant women smoke.

Gillian Smith, director of Royal College of Midwives in Scotland, said pregnant women smoking was a big problem for the NHS.

Health boards across Scotland have tested out many projects to discourage pregnant women from smoking – such as payments to those who have quitted cigarettes, with a carbon monoxide test used to identify smoking levels.

Sheila Duffy, chief executive of Action on Smoking and Health Scotland, stated that smoking in pregnancy leads to negative health effects in both the mother and the child.

“Stopping smoking at any point during pregnancy is a good step. Giving up smoking is hard, but there is no better time to do it and support from health services, as well as family, can help give a new baby the best start in life.”

It was discovered that nearly half of women who stop smoking while pregnant continue smoking.

The research, by Nicotine and Tobacco Research, demonstrated that 46 percent of new mothers started smoking once more within six weeks of having a baby.

Mothers who live with a smoking husband were six times more probably to start smoking again.

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