SMOKE QUIT BID TARGETS MUMS
MUMS-TO-BE who smoke can get help to quit from a pioneering project.
The new Breathe scheme aims to cut the number of children born prematurely, underweight or with illnesses such as asthma all common when mothers smoke.
Pregnant women in Glasgow will have a routine carbon monoxide test as part of their first clinic visit.
If it shows they smoke, they will be referred to specialist midwives offering nicotine replacement or other aides.
Across Scotland, nearly a quarter of mums-to--be smoke.
In Glasgow alone, around 3000 babies a year are born to smokers and, in the most deprived areas, up to 50 per cent of mothers smoke.
Dr Neil Gibson, consultant in paediatric respiratory medicine at the city's Yorkhill Hospital, said: 'Babies born to mums who smoke have underdeveloped lungs and that damage could be permanent.
'They are four times more likely to need hospitalisation for chest infections than kids whose parents don't smoke.
'We admit around 400 children a year with bronchiolitis a severe chest infection.
'If we could help pregnant women quit smoking,we could reduce that dramatically.'
Agnes McGowan, manager of NHS Greater Glasgow's Smoking Concerns, stressed women were not being judged.
She said: 'They don't have to take the test. Pregnancy is a great incentive to quit but it is also a highly stressful time which can make it difficult.'