NHSGGC has seen a dramatic rise in the number of expectant mums successfully giving up smoking, with the help of an incentive scheme.
In July 2018, NHSGGC introduced a financial incentives scheme as part of its Quit Your Way (QYW) pregnancy service. In its first year, it has helped 117 women to remain smoke-free for 12 weeks, a rise of 72% on the year before.
It is estimated that each year in the UK smoking in pregnancy causes up to 5,000 miscarriages, 300 perinatal deaths and around 2,200 premature births. Because of this, the Board has made it a priority to help pregnant women to stop smoking.
NHSGGC Director of Public Health Dr Linda de Caestecker said: “We are delighted to see early success with the incentives programme. Stopping smoking during pregnancy is one of the best things to do for the health of the mother and her baby.”
“The incentives scheme came about because we were seeing that many pregnant women were struggling to quit smoking and we felt a fresh approach and additional support was needed.
“Figures show that most people who still smoke are from poorer backgrounds, so these financial incentives really do make a difference to women who are trying to quit.”
Women who successfully participate in the programme can receive up to a £160 to spend at various outlets using a Love2Shop card. For those who are eligible, the payments are made in four stages; £20 for setting a quit date, £40 for remaining smoke-free four weeks after their quit date, £40 for remaining smoke-free 12 weeks after their quit date and a final payment of £60 for those who complete the programme smoke-free. Their quit is confirmed by measuring carbon monoxide levels using a breath test.
Brenda Friel, who leads the programme, is delighted with the initial success and said: “women we support really appreciate receiving the incentives and the difference they can make. This allows them to buy important things for their baby and for their family.”
“Many told us they didn’t think they would be able to stop smoking. Getting the support from the Quit Your Way Pregnancy Service advisor and receiving the incentives gave them extra encouragement and confidence to stop smoking and stay stopped.”
If you are pregnant and want help to stop smoking, call 0141 201 2335 for more information or for a chat with one of our specialist advisors. You can also text ‘Quit’ to 07796 937 679 and one of our advisors will get in touch.
Further information on the Quit Your Way service is available from www.nhsggc.org.uk/Quityourway
Notes to editors:
To be eligible for the incentives programme, pregnant women have to be a current smoker, which will be validated by carbon monoxide breath test; need to live in and receive their antenatal care with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Board area.
For more information contact: NHSGGC press office on 0141 201 4429 or [email protected]