Test All Pregnant Women for Smoking, Say NHS Chiefs

Test All Pregnant Women for Smoking, Say NHS Chiefs

The NHS, in an attempt to persuade pregnant women to stop smoking, has asked hospitals to test pregnant women for level of carbon monoxide indicating their smoking habits. Duncan Selbie Public Health England’s (PHE) chief director wants women to be monitored by doctors and midwives throughout their pregnancy and wants them to help pregnant mothers quit.

Further initiatives include banning hospital smoking shelters, having medical staff give out nicotine gum and patches as well as counseling patients to use e-cigarettes. Selbie relates that since one in four inpatients are smokers, they can be counseled for smoking cessation while admitted to the hospital. Evidence has shown if someone gets help to quit, they are much more successful.

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) supports testing only if the moms- to- be agree. Janet Fyle, the RCM’s professional policy advisor relates that the NHS needs to realize some moms in lower socioeconomic groups smoke because they are stressed by their situation. But PHE relates that hospitals are not doing enough due to misguided sympathy, believing tolerating smoking in patients and hospital patients is a firm of collusion.

Selbie has praised programs like Taunton and Somerset NHS trust that plays recordings if children asking patients not to smoke and the mend way. NHS in Kent that deploys wardens to ask people to stop smoking on it’s grounds and referring them to get professional health.

Key Points:

  • 1The public health chief of England is recommending that pregnant women receive tests to determine whether or not they have been smoking cigarettes.
  • 2The Royal College of Midwives supports this initiative set forth by the Public Health of England.
  • 3Under the Public Health of England’s plan, hospitals would ban smoking areas and raise awareness of the dangers of nicotine.


One in four hospital inpatients smokes, but too many hospitals do too little