Do you think smoking mums-to-be should be given shopping vouchers to quit?
A study carried out across the UK has discovered that pregnant women over the age of 16 and less than 24 weeks pregnant would be more likely to ditch their habit if they were offered financial incentives.
Researchers divided 612 pregnant women into groups. The first group were offered the standard NHS stop-smoking services while the second group were also offered shopping vouchers worth £400.
The findings revealed that 23% of those offered the financial incentive managed to break their habit compared to just 9% of the other smokers who had been offered the standard support.
Aware that offering financial incentives in a bid to stop pregnant women smoking may raise ethical concerns, researchers are keen to highlight the advantages, saying: “Existing interventions are not highly effective. This study provides substantial evidence of a promising and potentially cost-effective new intervention to add to present health service support.”
The study, written by researchers in Glasgow University and the University of Sterling, has been published in the British Medical Journal and reveals that 5,000 miscarriages and hundreds of stillbirths and infant deaths could be attributed to smoking.