Pregnancy and Smoking: Alarming High Rates Despite Anti-Smoking Campaigns

By Duna Bil , Jan 03, 2017 10:26 AM EST

According to a new study done on pregnancy and smoking, the number of women who smoke while pregnant still has not declined despite increasing anti-smoking campaigns.  

In New Zealand, the problem is alarming to health officials as statistics from the Ministry of Health show that 14.8% of pregnant women smoke over the duration of their pregnancy.  

Moreover, the study shows that 35% smokers are pregnant, while smokers who are 40 and above sit at 77%. 

The data, published in December, finds that while the younger smokers are diminishing, pregnant smokers still persist, and they're not showing any signs of stopping. 

The data also shows that Maori women and women living in poverty-stricken areas are more prone to smoking. 

Anti-smoking campaigns and quit smoking tips as reported earlier are being spread through online services. However, these campaigns seem to be ineffective to pregnant smokers in New Zealand. 

Despite strong anti-smoking promotions and assistance given by the government through specialized phone services, incentives schemes, and early interventions and the smoking rate still remain high, the Stuff reports.  

Pregnancy and smoking is the focus of Quitline, an online and social media site that promotes smoking cessation. Chief Executive Andrew Slater says that pregnant smokers prove challenging to the organization.  

He also stresses that the sooner a mother stops smoking, the better are the chances of her baby to be born healthy. Smoking during pregnancy poses various health risks to both mother and baby, ultimately contributing to the national mortality rate.  

That's why Quitline is determined to assist smokers to stop the habit. Recently, the organization provides specialized text message services to pregnant women, encouraging them to quit smoking. 

According to the Scoop, Quitline also recently gathered data on top reasons for quitting smoking. The highlights include the finding that pregnant smokers are five times more likely to quit for the sake of being a good role model for their kids. 

Furthermore, the main reason why the statistics for pregnant smokers remain high is due to stress. 

With the recent concern on pregnancy and smoking, smoking cessation groups hope to reduce the rate by adding more services focused on this specific group.   

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