Media Releases

Trials help pregnant women quit smoking

Friday, December 2, 2016 - 09:46
Health

Associate Health Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has welcomed the positive results of two trial pilot programmes which have helped pregnant women quit smoking.

“Smoking cessation has immense benefits for mothers and babies. Smoke-free pregnancies will help increase survival rates of young babies and dramatically improve infant health,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says.

“Two pilot programmes were completed in Kaitaia and Counties Manukau. Nearly half the pregnant women in the Counties Manukau area were involved in the pilot. 57% of pregnant women quit and remained smoke-free at 3 months.”

“The pilots used incentives like vouchers that can be swapped for food or goods. These pilots and overseas studies clearly demonstrate the benefits of vouchers as smoking cessation tools for pregnant women.”

“Waitemata, MidCentral, Waikato and Northland DHBs have run small scale trials and all have shown promising results.  Hawkes Bay, Southern and Eastern Bay of Plenty routinely encourage pregnant women to quit by providing vouchers. Wairarapa intends to start next year.”

“Both the Ministry and DHBs are looking to extend these pilots in order to benefit more pregnant women and their babies.”

“Today is also Safe Sleep Day.  We know mothers who quit smoking reduce the risk of sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI). We want to do all we can to encourage pregnant women to quit and give their unborn babies healthier lives.”

For pregnant mothers wishing to quit, the number for Quitline is 0800 778 778