Pregnancy smoking test

As we all love a good debate...what are your opinions on the smoking breath test they are looking at introducing to all pregnant women?

Personally, I think its a good thing. I smoked up until I discovered I was pregnant (pregnancy wasn't planned but a lovely surprise nevertheless!) and the moment I got my bfp is the moment I stopped smoking. I hate seeing pregnant women smoking, it makes me sick to think that there are so many couples desperately trying to conceive and these women aren't showing any regard for their unborn child's health. Going to the hospital for ante-natal appointments there use to be women in labour, having contractions, puffing away. I didn't want to walk through their smoke and breathe it in, so why would their unborn child?

I know how hard it is to give up and I applaud anyone who has successfully quit. I knew it was something I had to do, for my own health and babies health.

Hoping this can be a healthy debate, and this isn't meant to cause any offence to any smokers, just my opinion.

Jo x x x


  • Hey honeyboo,

    I don't usually join in with debates, lol, but I totally agree with you. I hate hate hate seeing pregnant women smoking, it is just so unfair and unnecessary. I appreciate that it is difficult to give up smoking, but you're not doing it for yourself, you're doing it for your unborn child who has no choice! I'm not quite sure whether a breath test would actually stop those who smoke during oregnancy stop, I think most women know the dangers of smoking anyway, and I don't see that a breath test would make that much difference to those in that catergory. however, that said, if it just helps one woman and her family stop smoking during and after pregnancy then it's worth it!

  • i dont smoke but i am an ex smoker. i think test as routine would stop smokers seeing their midwife as they would not want to be seen as guilty. i do think all smokers when pregnant should give up as soon as possible but i do understand that this is hard to do.
  • I think it sounds like a ridiculous waste of money. I don't think anyone is under any disillusion as to how bad smoking whilst pregnant is for the baby. If those people still choose to smoke I'm sure them having to take a test will not stop them if they have already decided to continue smoking despite what it could do to their baby. Instead they should use the money to help those women who are struggling to give up in a positive way rather than vilifying them by a test.
  • Are they going to start doing random alcohol breath tests and drug tests too???

    I'm with you all on smoking being BAD for the baby and I hate seeing pregnant women smoking but I don't see how this will help.
  • I think they are going to provide extra support to help those women who smoke quit. Surely, if it helps even just 1 woman quit smoking then it is good, not only for her but for her baby?

    I presume, they feel the need to introduce such a test as many women lie about smoking when seeing their midwife and a test would mean that extra support could be given for a healthier pregnancy and baby.

    A friend of mine saw a smoking cessation worker while pregnant and they did breath tests on her at every meeting to ensure she hadn't been smoking, 4 years on, she still doesn't smoke. She believed this was the best way for her to give up as she had support and knew that a test would be able to see the carbon monoxide levels in her breath so she wouldn't be able to have a sneaky smoke.
  • I agree that if you force a breathtest those who smoke may stop seeing their midwife for fear of villication. We do not live in a dictatorship and should therefore be allowed to make our own choices be they bad or good.

    We often complain about becoming public property as soon as we have a bump...everyone has an opinion on what we should an shouldn't be doing and the girls on here with those problems get very angry and upset about it so why is this any different?

    Two questions is all that should be asked to a pregnant mother

    1: do you smoke
    2: do you want help stopping to benefit your baby

    the money should be spent helping mothers to quit and encouraging them to 'come out' and ommitting a friendly, non judgemental repport so as to maximize success.

    I was a smoker and quit cold turkey as soon as I found out..albiet I had one after as I was in shock! So I'm not the best person to be shouting about smokers rights but at the same time we cannot police woman like they're public property
  • I think new mothers should have to have, and pass, regular smoke tests in order to receive child benefit; never mind just testing in pregnancy! If you can afford to smoke and raise a child, you're clearly not in need of your ??20 a week, IMO.
  • What a bloody waste of taxpayers' money!

    If pregnant smokers want to give up, they'll seek help to do so or just do it of their own accord. Pregnant smokers who have no intention of quitting who are forced to take this test will more than likely just avoid care throughout their pregnancy altogether, which is not desirable in any way even if the mother isn't a smoker!

    What can this possibly be hoping to achieve? At best one or two mothers might be shamed into quitting, but is that really the right way to go about it?
  • omg - Mrs Setters - i completely agree with you - i cant believe it!!!:lol:
  • there already is help for pregnant women/new mothers who smoke, free help, as loong as all women (smokers and even thjose who say they're non smoker) are informed of this i have no idea what a breath test is going to achive? if they don't want to give up they won't, no matter how many breath tests are thrust upon them. vereyone knows smoking is bad
    for u, and bad for an unborn baby, u'd have to be completely ignorant to not know that, its plastered all over the cigarette packs, and if they lie about it (which i can see is the onlyr eaosn for abreath test, to catch these ones out) then they alreday know its bad or they wouldn't be trying to hide it, if they're hiding it, they don't want to give up.

    "1: do you smoke
    2: do you want help stopping to benefit your baby"

    these questions alreday are asked, they're on the green maternity notes, they even ask if the father wants help to quit. i think it would be a total waste of money and would achieve nothing. as long as teh midwives/gps are making it known that the help is there to those who want it then i don't see what else can be done.

    on a personal note, i was a smoker before ds, i was nicotine free within 3 days of bfp, cold turkey, i appreciate its difficult for some, but for lme it was the easiest thing i've ever done, purely because of the reason i was doing it, my baby.

    i aklso agree it would be dangerous to force this, as many women who are adamanat enough to keep smoking and lie about it to their midwives would simply not attend their appointments and that could be even more detrimental to both the mother and baby's health.
  • omg - Mrs Setters - i completely agree with you - i cant believe it!!!:lol:

    Very occassionally it DOES happen. I print and frame posts like this, you know.
  • Setters I too agree with you........I cant see any reason why not...
  • I think new mothers should have to have, and pass, regular smoke tests in order to receive child benefit; never mind just testing in pregnancy! If you can afford to smoke and raise a child, you're clearly not in need of your ??20 a week, IMO.

    Comments like this are what turn healthy discussion into a debate that really shows how judgemental people can be! So what Mrs Setters, fat people shouldn't have child benefit too as they clearly can afford to over-eat? Anyone that drinks alcohol shouldn't get child benefit as they can afford to poison their bodies with alcohol?? Where do you draw the line with your selective judgemental opinion??

    Yes, I am a smoker - but I agree that money shouldn't be wasted on such things as breath tests - if a smoker wants to quit they will do so, no test will suddenly magically change their mind I wouldn't think.

  • Over eating or drinking moderately as a parent doesn't harm your child's health. Smoking does, it's beem proven in study after study. I don't think smokers should be handed taxpayers money to fuel an addiction that is compromising their babies' health. That probably is judgemental, but I don't care. People who smoke around children disgust me.
  • I did this breath test voluntarily as they were trialling in my area when I was pregnant.

    They did it at my booking in appointment and the equipment is pretty basic so I think the cost would be negligible. If this is offset against the costs involved in not treating a child who developed asthma because his mother smoked I reckon we'll be quids in.

    I'm a non-smoker so the results were good but the midwife explained how things would be different for a smoker and her baby. The test tells you not only how my carbon monoxide you have in your breath but also how much is going to your baby and how it's reduced the amount of oxygen the baby is receiving.

    It's numbers and percentages, very black and white and easy to understand. Somehow I think the simplicity of it makes it quite terrifying and I really think it would give an extra bit of incentive and encouragement to women who really want to give up and are finding it hard.

    Sadly there will always be some women who will smoke regardless.

    Bring it on!

    Just wanted to add that no one can force any one to have any kind of test, something to do with Human Rights... I refused some blood tests when I was pregnant as I'd already had them four months early just before I miscarried my previous pregnancy. I already knew I was immune to Toxoplasmosis so what was the point in testing me again - now that IS a waste of money.

    B x

    And yes, maybe Porkers and Drunks shouldn't get child benefit - it would certainly help with the nation's debt problem and then we could have our Tax Credit's back!

    [Modified by: Mrs Busby on June 24, 2010 05:22 PM]

  • Unfortunately there are people in this world that will think nothing of smoking while pregnant and then continue to put their child at risk by smoking in the home, etc. If they don't want to help themselves, then there is little anyone can do about it and I think introducing a test would be even more detrimental to the child's health, as the parent would probably avoid going to the midwife! And what a waste of money - if they want help, it's there for anyone to see.

    Judgemental perhaps but I agree with MrsSetters. Smoking around children is just wrong. We as parents have to do the best we can possibly do for our children and IMO smoking around them or when pregnant borders on abuse.

    Don't mean to offend, just joining in a healthy debate xx
  • I also agree with MrsS, however is it possible that this test might put pregnant smokers off going to the MW because of this? Also, if everyone was informed of the risks then wouldn't this have the same affect anyway?
  • completely agree with MrsSetters. An overweight parent who eats too much food isn't ideal but it doesn't directly influence the childs health nor does alcohol.

    Even parents who "smoke on the doorstep or in the back garden" bring it in with them, on their breath, hair, clothes etc and this can effect childrens health.

    taxpayers money shouldn't go on those who can afford a smoking habbit!
  • also just wanted to pooint out that ebing overweight doesn't necessarily mean u eat too much, how archaic! however, true that that is in my case, there are many factors that can contribute to being overweight so i think its highly naive of u to put the two in the same catagory. if someone can affird 20 cigarettes a day then they obviously not in 'need' of ??20 a week child benefit. in reverse its actually coments like urs babybelle that cause these threads t turn into arguements, i'm actually shocked at how being overweight can be compared to smoking when pregnant?????? that a very naive view u have ther, all overweight peopel are fat because they eat too much, laughable!
  • WoWBaby you took the words out my mouth!

    I gave up smoking withn a week of getting my bfp and felt hideously guilty about the 4 I had in that week. I will never smoke again and I will tell my son I wish I never started when he is old enough to be curious. Seeing pregnant women and people with children smoking just makes me proud that I put my son's health ahead of my selfish addiction nlike them. I think testing might put people off getting regular checks, which is worrying, but if steps are taken to ensure the testing is carried out sensitively maybe it will work.

    MrsS, as usual you say the words we are all afraid to!
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