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A study that took place at the Coombe Maternity Hospital in Dublin and was published in the Irish Journal of Medical Science, has calculated that between 2011 and 2015, the smoking rate amongst their pregnant patients had dropped from 14.3% to 10.9%. The highest smoking rates being more commonly witnessed in mothers who are younger, and/or come from an unstable social or personal background.

“Amongst women who continue to smoke during pregnancy, there is a clustering of adverse lifestyle behaviour and psychological problems that may need to be addressed if smoking cessation interventions are going to succeed.” said the study.

From the 42,500 women who were surveyed 53% said they never smoked, 35% classified themselves as ex smokers, 11% smoked less than 10 cigarettes a day and 2% unfortunately smoked even more than 10 cigarettes a day.

Electronic cigarettes anyone?

The smoking rate amongst pregnant patients at Coombe Maternal Hospital dropped from 14.3% to 10.9% in 5 years.
The users of electronic cigarettes amounted to 0.1%, which translates to 21 cases, however data about the devices only started being recorded as of 2013. An article published yesterday on The Irish Times pointed out that the recent increase in popularity of the electronic devices may have had something to do with the recorded drop in smoking in this study, as trends observed in expectant mothers like those also observed in other sub groups, tend to follow those observed in the wider population.

 

The study points out that there is no evidence about the safety of using electronic cigarettes during pregnancy, however one may argue that if the devices are 95% safer than regular cigarettes in normal circumstances, more studies such as the one taking place in Scotland, exploring the opportunity that switching to vaping during pregnancy may hold, should be encouraged.