‘My incentive to quit smoking was finding out I was pregnant’

Pregnant women in Blackpool could be offered shopping vouchers and other incentives to give up smoking.
Pregnant women in Blackpool could be offered shopping vouchers and other incentives to give up smoking.
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You’ve had your say on whether you thought it was a good idea that the council will offer pregnant women shopping vouchers if they quit smoking. Harry McDonald reports.

As Your View features go, the response was not unexpected.

We revealed on Tuesday how pregnant women in Blackpool could be offered shopping vouchers and other incentives to give up smoking.

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Women can spend the vouchers in high street shops or save them up to visit Blackpool’s attractions.

The proposal wass included in details of a new stop smoking service being considered by health chiefs in the resort.

It comes after nearly a third of expectant mums in the resort continue to smoke.

Maternity health trainers would provide mums-to-be with intensive support throughout pregnancy and beyond including regular monitoring of their carbon monoxide levels to prove they have given up tobacco.

A report to the council’s adult social care and health scrutiny committee says the scheme would maintain “support throughout pregnancy and 12 weeks postpartum (post-natal or following pregnancy), through offering incentive payment at stages throughout the pregnancy.”

A council spokesman said the payment would be offered in the form of LOVE2SHOP vouchers, which can be used in more than 100 UK shops including

Argos, Debenhams, WHSmith, New Look and Oasis.

They can also be used at a number of attractions including Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Madame Tussauds, Alton Towers and Legoland.

Here’s your views:

If a precious child growing inside them isn’t enough to make them quit then what is?
Emma Robinson

I smoked though all my pregnancy and does that make me a bad mum? No it doesn’t. It’s not as easy as that to give up, and all my kids were fine and healthy. I’ve had two, one born weighing 13lb, one at 7lb so I don’t believe for one minute smoking does harm to your baby, where’s the medical proof in black and white?

I don’t agree with giving vouchers though as why should they get rewarded, they either want to give up or they don’t. It’s their body so their choice, stop with the criticism.
Vanessa Cook

It’s not at all difficult to give up when you’re pregnant. How would you not do everything you can to make sure you have a healthy child? Children of smokers get more illnesses than children of parents who don’t - fact.
Claire Wicks:

Smoking while pregnant is selfish. As a mother you are supposed to do all you can to ensure your child is healthy and well. Smoking increases so many risks to your unborn baby, is that cigarette worth the risk of your baby being born ill?
Brea O’Neill

I’m pregnant and smoke... Been trying to give up for a while but really struggling. I don’t want shopping vouchers to encourage me!
Kirsty Briers

If the fact that you are carrying your own unborn child isn’t enough to make you stop smoking then shopping vouchers are not going to work.
Jon Speck

What about the women that don’t smoke and are putting the health of their unborn child first? Surely they should be the ones rewarded?
Emma Baily

We all have a choice in what we do in life and how we protect those that we love or are responsible for so this is just me airing my opinion on the matter.
Having a risk free pregnancy and wanting to ensure the birth of a healthy child should be incentive enough.
Kenneth Thomas Buckley

When we know better, we do better. There’s no excuse nowadays not to know better, the research is unambiguous and easily accessible. We owe it to our children to do the best we can with
the knowledge we have at the time. There’s no excuse to knowingly cause harm to a child, or deliberately disadvantage them in any way.
Bridget Millican

The vouchers should be given to the ladies that don’t smoke. It would give a bigger incentive for the smokers to quit.
Mandi Pearson

Smoking while pregnant is neglect of the child’s wellbeing before he or she is even born.
Sheryl Miles

They might give birth to a perfectly healthy baby, but they’re still taking that risk...
Wilfried Bony

As hard as it is, what’s more important? They shouldn’t need vouchers.
Laura Openshaw

My incentive to quit nearly 20 years ago was finding out I was pregnant.
Mandy Ward