Protect children from tobacco harm

Published on August 19th, 2010 13:25

According to a new guidance, obstetricians have to suggest pregnant women to make a test on carbon monoxide levels in order to detect whether they smoke or are simply exposed to secondhand smoke. As it is known smoking during pregnancy raises the risk of miscarriage, premature birth and unexpected infant death, it can also bring to respiratory and psychological health problems in childhood. Usually active smokers have high carbon monoxide levels, but experts detected that people who are constantly exposed to secondhand smoke also show high levels of carbon.

secondhand smoke

National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) advises to test pregnant women as this will guarantee that they acquire corresponding support they need in order to stop smoking or lower their exposure to secondhand smoke.

In the new guidance is stated that obstetricians should oblige pregnant women to do breathe test at their first antenatal appointment. Those pregnant women who are smoking or have lately given birth should be supplied with different methods to help them stop smoking, such as referral to NHS Stop Smoking Services, contact information for the NHS Pregnancy Smoking Helpline, and the least but not last an individual support from professionals.

The partners and family members who smoke should also contact NHS Stop Smoking Services in order to receive advices on how to quit. Director of NICE’s Centre for Public Health Excellence, Professor Mike Kelly declared that it is known for a long time that ordinary and passive smoking may be the reason of grave illnesses as lung cancer. During pregnancy smoking puts the health of a pregnant woman and her unborn baby at a great threat. If small children are exposed to secondhand smoke they are likely to suffer from respiratory diseases.

Professor Mike Kelly said that the carbon monoxide test is not intended to “punish” smoking women, but only to show them how active and passive smoking increases their levels of the gas.

According to Deborah Arnott the chief executive of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) only a small number of women smokers continue to smoke after getting pregnant, but those women who can’t quit as being most addicted need help from healthcare specialists to quit. NICE guidance is intended to encourage and not to blame pregnant smokers for their cacoethes.

On a press conference Robin Hewings, Cancer Research UK’s tobacco control manager said that NICE proposed a very good idea to help and support smoking pregnant women to quit.

It is important to help as much as possible pregnant women to quit, so they can give birth to healthy children. It would be a very good idea if fathers also quit than children will be assured with a smoke-free household.

By Joanna Johnson, Staff Writer. Copyright © 2010 TobaccoPub.com. All rights reserved.

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