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Smokefree For Baby And Me

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To help mums-to-be trying to stop smoking across the city, NHS Manchester’s Stop Smoking Service is supporting a campaign to raise awareness of the immediate health benefits of quitting for mum and baby.

The campaign was launched on 2 February and is designed to highlight the range of NHS Stop Smoking Services available in the region to help pregnant women to quit. It will run alongside a series of new TV adverts created by Smokefree North West to encourage parents-to-be who smoke to seek help to quit.

Ali Reid, Senior Public Health Advisor, Tobacco Control and Pregnancy explains how hard it is for mums-to-be to quit smoking and the reason Manchester Stop Smoking Service is supporting the new campaign.

She said: “We see lots of pregnant women from Manchester who are worried about trying to stop smoking and feel they don’t have the support or anyone to talk to about it. We’re making sure they see there is plenty of help on offer, from pregnancy focused one-to-one or group support sessions at their local NHS Stop Smoking Service or the NHS Pregnancy Smoking Helpline giving friendly advice and support - we work together to find the best solution for them.

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“Our work is important because every cigarette smoked by a pregnant woman harms their baby, restricting the essential oxygen supply so their tiny heart has to beat harder every time the mum-to-be smokes. On the plus side, after two days of being smokefree, the nicotine leaves the body, which means almost immediate benefits for both mum-to-be and baby.”

Eighty two* percent of pregnant women in Manchester are smokefree during pregnancy. But for the remaining 18 percent, research shows it can be a particularly difficult time to stop smoking. Last year, 2,987** pregnant women in the region successfully stopped smoking with the NHS Stop Smoking Service last year.

Abbie Paton, Tobacco Control Lead for Manchester commented: “Research has shown that smokers who quit with NHS support are up to four times more likely to succeed. Quitting is not easy and it can take some smokers several times to get off cigarettes for good. Any pregnant woman planning to quit smoking should contact Manchester Stop Smoking Service on 0161 205 5998 to find out where their local service is.”

Case Study

Local mum Nadine Smith, from Newton Heath has now been smokefree for one year since stopping smoking using NHS Manchester’s Stop Smoking Service. Nadine is supporting the new campaign as she understands how hard it is for mums-to-be to quit smoking, and how much local support can help.

Nadine says, “I decided to stop smoking as soon as I found out I was pregnant. I knew I couldn’t do it all by myself so I got help from a local NHS stop smoking advisor Christine Heap, at the local Sure Start Children’s Centre in Newton Heath. It wasn’t easy to deal with the cravings, but with the patches and Christine’s support I managed to quit. I’m definitely glad I did, as I feel a lot better and I’ve given my baby girl the best start possible.”