A health watchdog in the UK has suggested that all pregnant women must be tested for smoking so that they can be counseled to kick the habit when needed.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has recommended that carbon monoxide tests be carried out on all expectant mothers. "During pregnancy, smoking puts the health of the women and her unborn baby at great risk both in the short and long-term, and small children who are exposed to second-hand smoke are more likely to suffer from respiratory problems," Professor Mike Kelly, Nice director of the centre of public health excellence, said.
However midwives feel these measures may make women feel guilty. The Royal College of Midwives welcomed the guidelines, but said that midwives should be non-judgmental about smoking women.
If these guidelines are implemented, then every pregnant woman will have to undergo a breath test at the first ante-natal appointment.