A major new study being launched in Norfolk aims to look into the effectivity of BabyBreathe, a new initiative launched in Norfolk, where health professionals will be working with mothers and their partners on staying smokefree.

“At the moment there is no routine support available to encourage new mums to stay smoke-free after childbirth,” said lead study author Prof Caitlin Notley, from the university’s medical school. “It’s a big problem as around 75pc of women who quit smoking for pregnancy relapse before their baby turns one. This can severely affect the health of the mother and baby.”

Notley went on to mention some of the ill effects that smoking can have on mothers and their babies. “Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in adults, and babies exposed to second-hand smoke have higher risks of cot death, breathing problems and ear infections. Also, children of smokers are three times as likely to start smoking themselves later in life.”

Financial incentives to quit smoking

Earlier this year, the UK Royal College of Physicians (RCP) said that bearing in mind that most smokers are often from “lower socio-economic groups,” they should be given financial incentives to motivate them to quit. The institution added that at any point of contact with the NHS, smokers should be provided with “opt-out smoking cessation services.” Moreover, said the group,

These suggestions were put forward as part of a report compiled by the RCP, addressing what can be done to achieve the government’s “Smoke Free 2030” target. Sadly recent data has indicated that as it stands the goal will not actually be achieved until 2050.

“The ability of the UK and other countries to rise to major public health challenges is beyond doubt; the Covid-19 pandemic, by far the biggest new challenge to UK and global health in decades, has attracted a public health and economic response of a scale unique in the modern era,” read the report. “Yet in 2020, when Covid-19 killed around 80,000 UK citizens, tobacco smoking killed 94,000.”

Smoke Exposure During Pregnancy Can Have Damaging Effects Lasting Generations


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