Smoking in pregnancy accounted for up to 30% of low birth weight babies and up to 14% of pre-term deliveries. It was also associated with increased risks for ectopic pregnancy, premature rupture of membranes, stillbirth, low birth weight and congenital anomalies such as cleft lip. Therefore, it is very important for pregnant smokers to kick the butt. A new study has revealed that pregnant women are more likely to quit smoking if they are paid in shopping vouchers.
For the study, researchers analyzed 600 participants and found that women who were paid 400 Pounds to buy products gave up smoking quicker than those who were not paid. Experts suggested that the estimated cost to the NHS of treating the after-effects of smoking in pregnancy, in both mothers and babies, is as much as 87.5 million pounds.
‘Smoking in pregnancy is detrimental for the health of the fetus. Since it can lead to birth complications, it is recommended that pregnant smokers should quit smoking. Researchers observed that pregnant women are more likely to quit smoking if they are paid in shopping vouchers.’
In a Glasgow-based trial, participants were all assigned to the NHS GGC Stop Smoking Services, with half randomly chosen to also receive the vouchers as an incentive. The results showed that 22.5% of the participants gave up their habit compared to 8.6% of the others.
The researchers concluded that identifying pregnant women who smoke, engaging with them and supporting them to quit smoking during pregnancy was a key international tobacco policy priority.