State’s smoking statistic concern
THE percentage of Queensland women who are smoking during pregnancy is above the national average, according to the latest data.
Executive director of Queensland Health’s preventative health branch, Kaye Pulsford, said while there was a steady decline in the number of mothers-to-be who smoked, the statistics and their implications were concerning.
“The latest figures show 12.4 per cent of women in Queensland smoked at some time during pregnancy – this is above the national average (10.4 per cent),” Ms Pulsford said.
“Rates were higher in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy, where 12.4 per cent of mothers smoked compared with 9.9 per cent who smoked at or after 20 weeks gestation.
“Numerous studies have shown smoking during pregnancy can lead to a range of complications, including an increased risk of miscarriage, premature birth and unexpected death in infants – just to name a few.
“There is no safe level of smoking – the more cigarettes you smoke while pregnant, the more harm you do to yourself and your baby.”
Ms Pulsford said smoking cessation interventions were a routine part of antenatal care in Queensland to help expecting mothers throughout their quit journey.
“Queenslanders are also encouraged to call Quitline – a free and confidential call service, available seven days a week – which supported more than 360 pregnant women in 2017,” she said.
Perri Weeks smoked from the age of 11 so she knew quitting would be tough but the thought of not being around for her daughter was tougher.
“Quitting wasn’t easy but it’s worth it,” Ms Weeks said.