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Campaign to help pregnant smokers

New research has revealed that many pregnant smokers are too ashamed to seek help.
A new government campaign aimed at helping pregnant women to quit smoking is to be rolled out nationally.

The move follows news that many pregnant women who are smokers choose not to approach their doctors seeking help to quit because they feel too ashamed and are worried they will be judged.

Of 224 pregnant smokers questioned as part of the NHS Smokefree campaign, a quarter (25 per cent) admitted that the reason they had not sought help to quit was concern about being criticised.

About one in five pregnant women in England smoke during their pregnancy, which is equivalent to about 100,000 women at any one time.

The new campaign will highlight the fact that a baby's heart has to beat harder every time a pregnant woman smokes and how each cigarette restricts the supply of oxygen to the baby.

Dr Miriam Stoppard, who is leading the new campaign, said: "Pregnant women who smoke do not automatically find it easy to stop smoking as soon as they become pregnant.

"Pregnancy can be a particularly difficult time to stop smoking - and rather than stigmatising these women, we should be guiding them to their local NHS Stop Smoking Service for expert advice and support."

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