Third of pregnant women smoke
ALMOST one in three women continue to smoke during pregnancy, according to a survey published today.
Despite well-publicised research describing the harmful effects of smoking on unborn children, about 200,000 women are unable to kick the habit. The number of pregnant smokers has not changed since 1992. Women from poorer backgrounds are three times more likely to smoke than those who are better off, the Health Education Authority discovered. Mothers-to-be cited habit, stress and addiction as the main barriers to quitting.
The HEA survey found that of women who smoked, 10 per cent stopped immediately before they got pregnant, and one in five kicked the habit at some point during the pregnancy. A further four per cent cut down before they found they were expecting and a third reduced their intake during pregnancy. But the study also disclosed that 19 per cent of women who had stopped smoking relapsed during pregnancy.
A new government advertising campaign is being launched today in an attempt to reach its target of reducing the number of pregnant smokers from 26 per cent in 1992 to 15 per cent by 2010. Entitled "No Tar! Mum", the campaign will form part of a Â£60 million Government drive to tackle the smoking problem.