June 1, 2010 - Health officials in Scotland are renewing their efforts to reduce the rate of smoking in pregnant women, warning of the risk to them and their babies. Doctors, agencies and government officials in Scotland are working together to get the word out: if you smoke while pregnant, you’re risking more than your own life.
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Following on the heels of research by Glasgow and Stirling universities for the NHS that only three out every 100 women quit smoking while pregnant, the British Medical Association (BMA) and Action on Smoking and Health (ASH)are working with doctors to promote the United Nation’s World No Tobacco Day.
“Around one in five women smoke during pregnancy and, although this is an improvement on previous years, it reflects the lack of knowledge among Scots about the health risks of smoking, not only to themselves, but to the health of their children,” BMA Scotland’s deputy chairman Dr. Sally Winning told The Herald.
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AHS Scotland’s chief executive, Sheila Duffy, explained the No Tobacco Day: “The theme of this year’s World No Tobacco Day is gender and tobacco with an emphasis on marketing to women. The World Health Organisation has produced some excellent posters showing the dangers of smoking and the illnesses it can cause and are calling on countries to ban all tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.”
“Research shows that the tobacco industry is using the cigarette packet more aggressively and more effectively as a marketing tool to recruit smokers as other promotional avenues are closed,” Duffy added.
The BMA and AHS campaigns follow the revelation that Scots are increasingly looking for help with giving up smoking. The NHS estimated that almost 70,000 people tried to quit smoking in Scotland in 2009, an increase of 35 percent over 2008. “We need to offer more smoking cessation support to adults and parents to help those who wish to stop smoking stay stopped,” Winning told the BBC.
Reference: Scotland renews efforts to curtail smoking in pregnant women by Shawn Douglas, BabyChums.com, 5/31/2010.
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