19 June 2014

City celebrates stop smoking success for pregnant women

Brighton & Hove is at the forefront nationally of moves to cut the number of women who smoke while they are pregnant.

The National Tobacco Control Plan for England has called for the proportion of pregnant women smoking at time of delivery to be reduced to 11% or less by the end of 2015.

In Brighton & Hove the figure already stands at only 6.3%, putting the city comfortably in the top 20% of authorities nationally for this measure.

It’s a massive success story and it’s down to a concerted effort by Brighton & Hove City Council’s public health team and the local NHS.

All midwives are trained to give brief advice to pregnant women on the health benefits of stopping smoking. Pregnant women are also offered carbon monoxide readings at their first booking-in appointment. This alone can be a wake-up call and a huge motivation for stopping smoking.

Weekly stop smoking sessions specially aimed at pregnant women are available at children’s centres across the city. And in between sessions, as an extra motivational tool women can receive text messages as encouragement to continue quitting.

The latest data for Brighton & Hove shows that in 2013-14 105 women set themselves a quit date and 54 of them quit smoking for four weeks.

The council’s lead member for adult care and health, Councillor Rob Jarrett, said: “This success really shows what can be achieved when local services pull together and work in a joined-up way to tackle problems. Our staff are incredibly dedicated and deserve enormous credit.

“But above all I take my hat off to all the pregnant women we work with who rise to the challenge of giving up smoking for the sake of their health and their baby’s health.

“Many find it very difficult, and show great courage and determination.”

If you’re a smoker and you want to stop please call the city’s Stop Smoking Service now on (01273) 267397.