This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

Pregnant women ‘must get support’ to quit smoking

Written by: | Published:

Pregnant women need support Pregnant women need support to quit smoking

A reversal of public health cuts is essential to help pregnant women stop smoking, the Royal College of Midwives has said.

The call comes as NICE and Public Health England publish a draft guideline to tackle the health burden of smoking. The draft guideline also recommends that, in addition to pharmacological and behavioural support, pregnant women who are referred to a stop-smoking service should be offered vouchers to encourage them to stop smoking.

‘Reducing smoking in pregnancy is key to reducing stillbirths and will also have real benefits for the health of women and their babies in also reducing other poor outcomes associated with smoking,’ said Clare Livingstone, professional Policy Advisor at the Royal College of Midwives.

Read more: Women’s health

‘This is why it is critical that they get the support they need to stop smoking in as many ways as possible, and that we have the staffing and resources to do this. If the Government are really serious about reducing smoking rates, this means reversing cuts to public health funding which has seen many stop smoking services close. All of this must also be as part of a broader package of support around the woman and her family throughout and beyond pregnancy.’

According to the guideline, vouchers should only be provided when smoking abstinence is validated by a biochemical test such as a carbon monoxide test. Providers of stop-smoking support services should ensure these vouchers cannot be used to purchase products, such as cigarettes or alcohol, that are harmful in pregnancy.

‘E-cigarettes and incentives are some of the tools we have to encourage women to stop smoking,’ added Ms Livingstone.

Read more: Smoking cessation

‘We do back their use because they are proven to work. However, the use of carbon monoxide testing to support the voucher schemes must be done with sensitivity towards the woman, who will already be struggling with this addiction while also having to cope with the pressures and demands of her pregnancy.’

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.



Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code

Read a free issue from Practice Nursing

Register to read a free issue from our sister publication, Practice Nursing.

Including articles on asthma, diabetes and more. Read your copy.


Sign up to the newsletter


Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.


Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.


Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team


Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.