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Nearly half of women who stop smoking during pregnancy go back to smoking soon after the baby is born

16th March 2016

Joint research by the Universities of York and Nottingham, published today in the journal ‘Addiction’, has found that 43% of women who smoke, but manage to stay off cigarettes during pregnancy, will go back to smoking within 6 months.

By © 2005 by Tomasz Sienicki [user: tsca, mail: tomasz.sienicki at gmail.com] - Photograph by Tomasz Sienicki / Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=172810

Photograph by Tomasz Sienicki / Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=172810

While not smoking during pregnancy is very important, there is an urgent need to find better ways of helping mothers stay off cigarettes afterwards.

Dr Cheryll Adams, executive director of the iHV, said:

“It is vital that new parents remain smoke-free to ensure that their children are not exposed to the dangers of ‘second-hand’ smoke, as children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of ‘second hand’ smoke.  Through the universal service, health visitors are well-placed to support parents to continue to be smoke-free after baby is born and to explain the benefits of having a smoke-free home.”

Approximately 18,887 pregnant smokers in the UK (3% of all maternities) used NHS stop-smoking support in the financial year 2014/15..

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