On No Smoking Day 2021 (#NoSmokingDay 10 March 2021), iHV publishes new Good Practice Points (GPP) for health visitors – Promoting smoke-free families.

No Smoking Day is a national campaign that encourages the nation’s smokers to make a quit attempt on the second Wednesday of March each year. The day is an important opportunity to engage smokers in your local community, encouraging them to quit and access local stop smoking support.

Smoking is the single most modifiable risk factor in pregnancy. In 2019/2020, 10.4% of mothers were recorded as smokers at time of delivery. It is also known that pregnancy can be a time when parents are receptive to make changes to their behaviours.

There is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke. The best way to protect children from the effects of second-hand smoke is to not smoke during pregnancy and have a completely smoke-free home and car.

This GPP provides up-to-date evidence and references.

Please note that GPPs are available to iHV members.

If you’re not a member, please join us to get access to all of our resources.

The iHV is a self-funding charity – we can only be successful in our mission to strengthen health visiting practice if the health visiting profession and its supporters join us on our journey. We rely on our membership to develop new resources for our members.

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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..