Smoking rates fall among mums-to-be in South Tyneside, say health chiefs

The number of women smoking during pregnancy is dropping say health chiefs.
The number of women smoking during pregnancy is dropping say health chiefs.

The number of pregnant women who smoke in South Tyneside has slumped, say health chiefs.

South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) say the number of mums-to-be lighting up has fallen almost continually for about a year.

There was also a slight increase between the first and second quarters of 2018/19, although it remains ‘within the range of’ the national average.

Matt Brown, the CCG’s director of operations, said: “The system focused on the lifestyle and circumstances of those people.

“It’s about asking ‘what’s going on with your life and how can we help.”

Mr Brown was speaking at a meeting of South Tyneside Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Coordinating and Call-in Committee.

Figures showed that from the third quarter of 2017/18 the rate of smoking in pregnancy fell for three quarters in a row.

In November it was revealed up to 170 women in South Tyneside have signed up to a controversial scheme - offering up to £300 in vouchers in return for giving up smoking.

Early findings have indicated women signed up to the scheme are not only more likely to quit, but also to stay smoke free, than those who don’t.

After attending their first appointment and receiving their first voucher, they can be eligible for up to three further instalments – of £75 and two of £100 – if they can go up to 35 weeks without a cigarette.

The gift cards can be spent at stores such as Mothercare, Halfords and Boots.

James Harrison

James Harrison , Local Democracy Reporting Service