Pregnant women to be offered cash to quit smoking

Pregant woman smoke

​Studies find cash incentives work 

18th October 2017 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Pregnant women could be offered cash incentives to quit smoking in a move backed by a leading health charity.

A plan to offer expectant mums financial rewards is expected to be rolled out across Scotland after trials showed it almost tripled the quit rate.

It follows a previous initiative in 2011 when hundreds of women were offered up to £400 in high street vouchers if they reached the end of their pregnancy smoke-free.

Smoking 10 or more cigarettes per day during pregnancy has been proven to double the risk of stillbirth. 

Professor Carol Tannahill, who advises the Scottish Government on social policy, said the evidence for the scheme was “strong and robust.”

Sheila Duffy, chief executive of ASH Scotland, said: “Every baby has the right to be born free from the harm caused by tobacco smoke.

“If we have an effective and cost-effective measure to help give children the best start in life then who can argue with that.”

Anne Mullin, a GP at Govan Health Centre in Glasgow, said: “Any incentive to stop smoking in pregnancy that improves quit rates and has an evidence base to support that is a worthy project.” 

A spokeswoman for NHS Greater Glasgow said: “Following the success of a pilot project, which took place between 2011 and 2013, supporting pregnant women to stop smoking, we are exploring the potential of developing this project over the coming months.”