Pregnant women in Lancashire who smoke, vape or chew are being encouraged to protect their babies’ health by taking advantage of the expert help offered by the Quit Squad to take up a healthier lifestyle to kick the habit for good and give their babies a healthier start in life.
With a single cigarette containing over 4,000 chemicals, every cigarette that a person smokes when pregnant harms unborn babies. Cigarettes also restrict the essential oxygen supplies to babies, forcing their hearts to beat harder every time they smoke.
As a result, the Quit Squad, funded by Lancashire County Council and provided by Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, is calling on pregnant women to recognise the harms that both smoking themselves and second-hand smoke can do to their unborn babies, and also to make a Smoke Free Pledge to ensure their cars and homes are smoke free.
Tracy Sutton from the Quit Squad said: “When you smoke you breathe in more than 4,000 chemicals from the cigarette. The smoke goes from your lungs into your bloodstream. That blood flows to your placenta and umbilical cord, right into your baby's tiny body. This causes your baby to struggle for oxygen that's essential for your baby's healthy growth and development. This causes your baby's tiny heart to pump even harder. Stopping smoking will benefit both you and your baby immediately. You’ll have fewer complications in pregnancy and you are more likely to have a healthier pregnancy and healthier baby.
“Second hand smoke can also reduce birth weight and increase the risk of cot death. Babies whose parents smoke are more likely to be admitted to hospital for bronchitis and pneumonia during the first year of life. The Quit Squad can support smokers to give up—you are four times more likely to give up with expert help than going alone. The Quit Squad is also encouraging people to protect their families by making a Smoke Free Pledge to ensure their cars and homes are smoke free.”
In addition to drop-in clinics (for which no appointments are required) and one-to-one sessions, the Quit Squad also offers group sessions in the community and operates in Central, North, East and West Lancashire. For further details, telephone 0800 3286297, visit www.quitsquad.nhs.uk, or follow the Quit Squad on Twitter @LancashireCare #QuitSquad. For further information on Smoke Free Pledges, telephone 01706 871740 or visit www.lancashiresmokefreehomes.co.uk