Vapouround magazine ISSUE 21 - Page 19

Derbyshire county council will spend £120,000 over two years in a bid to curb smoking during pregnancy, after it was revealed that one in seven expectant mothers from the county admitted to smoking during pregnancy. The number of women in the midlands county that admitted to having smoked cigarettes during pregnancy – or smoked at time of delivery (SATOD) – is ‘significantly higher’ than the national average. In fact, it’s at 14.1 percent, with the national average resting at 10.7 percent. What does this mean? It means more than 1,000 women in Derbyshire are continuing to smoke at the time of delivery each year. However, this has dropped from 16.8 per cent in 2010 and the rate is on the decline. Within the county itself there is a growing divide. Over 11 percent of expectant mothers smoked during pregnancy in Chesterfield while the SATOD figure was 16.9 percent in Bolsover. Smoking during pregnancy is known to cause up to 5,000 miscarriages, 300 perinatal deaths, 2,200 premature births, and 19,000 babies to be born with low birth weight in the UK every year. According to UK charity The Lullaby Trust (formerly The Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths), by smoking between one and nine cigarettes a day during pregnancy, expectant mothers are more than four times as likely to have a baby suffer sudden infant death (SID) than a woman who didn’t smoke at all during pregnancy. The 2017 Tobacco Control Plan for England drew up plans to reduce rates of smoking in pregnancy to less than six percent by 2022. Now Derbyshire County Council is concerned that not only will it miss this target, but fears it is unlikely to achieve this goal for another 15 years as it would require 600 pregnant women to quit smoking each year. The investment of £120,000 will go towards midwives actively discouraging expectant mothers from smoking, by becoming what the local authority calls ‘Smokefree Champions,’ according to the Derbyshire Times newspaper. The newspaper reports “Mothers in routine and manual occupations are five times more likely to have smoked throughout pregnancy compared to women in managerial and professional occupations, meaning those from lower socio-economic groups are at a much greater risk of complications during and after pregnancy.” Pregnant teenagers are six times more likely to smoke than older mothers, and studies show children who grow up with a smoking parent are also more likely to become smokers themselves, spinning the cycle further out of control. One US study in particular funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has shown children of current and former smokers face an elevated risk of smoking. Researchers on the 2013 study, which was published in the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, concluded: “Our longitudinal trajectories reveal that parental smoking at any age (even before the child is born) increases the chances that their children will smoke. Intervention efforts to heighten parental disapproval of smoking and weaken possible intergenerational influences should target parents who were smokers at any point from adolescence to adulthood.” VM21 | 19