Partners of Walsall’s mums-to-be, or one family member in the household, will now be offered support to quit smoking for the sake of the babies and children who share their homes.
This new support was launched today, Friday 1 July, and consists of a 12 week support programme, through Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust’s Smoking in Pregnancy Services.
Pregnant women who smoke and are under the care of maternity services will continue to be supported alongside their partner of family member.
Carol Shepherd, Specialist Stop Smoking Advisor, said: “We know that if someone in the household where our mums-to-be live is a smoker it makes it more difficult for them to give up so we feel this additional support could potentially make a real difference.
“Making a household a smoke-free environment is one of the best things we can do to give babies a healthy start in life and protect them from tobacco smoke that causes harm. Even if smokers have their cigarettes outside, this isn’t enough protection as chemicals from smoke stay on clothing and babies will inhale these when being cuddled by a smoker.”
Carol explained that partners or one household member will be provided with their choice of Nicotine Replacement Treatment for 12 weeks. This support will be offered regardless of whether the pregnant woman herself smokes. Funding has been secured until March 2023 with the hope it will continue after this.
She added: “We know that babies born to smokers, or those who have been exposed to second hand smoke in a household, are at a greater risk of being born prematurely and need neonatal care. They can also end up with ongoing respiratory, sight, behavioural and speech problems. Smoking is a difficult addiction to break and we hope that by offering this additional support that we can bring some really positive changes to our families in Walsall.”
The service can be contacted on 01922 270477.