British health regulatory body NICE, has come out with a new guideline recommending that pregnant mothers in Britain should be tested to check whether they are smoking and if they are found to be positive, then proper guidance should be given to help them quit.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) said that the midwives should conduct carbon monoxide tests on all pregnant women and if the women are found to have high readings of carbon monoxide, which would mean that they are smoking, then proper guidance should be given as part of 'smoking cessation services'.
However the recommendation has been criticized by both women and midwives organizations, with many viewing it as draconian. "It is a bit draconian. They are asking us to test each pregnant woman for carbon monoxide on their very first visit. It is not allowing women to say no or midwives to use their judgment. And it puts pressure on the first visit when a lot of women are already dealing with a lot of information and stress", the director of midwifery at the Royal College of Midwives, Louise Silverton said.