Expectant mothers are taking advantage of specialist support to help them quit smoking.
North Tyneside Stop Smoking Service, run by North Tyneside Council and health nurses from Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, work with local expectant mums to support them in quitting smoking.
Figures for 2013-14 show that the proportion of North Tyneside women recorded as smokers when their baby was born was 13.4 percent, the lowest figure in the north east.
The results follow the introduction last year of the ‘babyClear’ initiative by FRESH, which aims to reduce premature births, stillbirths, miscarriages and complications after labour due to smoking.
Marietta Evans, director of public health for North Tyneside, said: “We’re delighted that babyClear’s targeted, specialist support has led to more expectant mums in the borough quitting smoking.
“However, we aren’t complacent and will carry on working to make sure the downward trend continues.”
Under the ‘babyClear’ initiative public health nurses provide a 12 week stop smoking programme tailored to the individual needs of the pregnant lady.
A consultation will include one to one counselling and support on smoking habits and the nurse will discuss the nicotine replacement therapies (NRT).
Gillian Emmerson, public health nurse lead for Northumbria Healthcare Foundation Trust, said: “Our public health nurses have already helped a number of ladies to successfully quit smoking throughout their pregnancy and beyond and we are really pleased so many ladies have taken up our offer of support.
“There’s now more proof than ever that smoking is dangerous – both for your unborn baby and you. It’s just not worth the risk. And even if you’ve smoked through your pregnancy so far, it’s not too late to stop as the benefits kick in straight away.
“We know you are more likely to stop smoking if you get support from a specialist stop smoking advisor and NRT is available free of charge for pregnant smokers.”
For details on stop smoking services in North Tyneside, contact the North Tyneside Stop Smoking Service on 0300 123 9290, or text “NO SMOKE” and your postcode to 80800.