Pregnant women in France offered $603 by doctors to quit smoking
Pregnant French women are being offered up to £200 (FJ$603) by doctors to quit smoking, after emerged that one in five do not stop lighting up while expecting. Women will be compensated with a $47 voucher for each visit to their doctor if they can prove they have not been smoking. The scheme has been devised as part of a study to find out whether financial incentives help when giving up cigarettes.
There are 17 hospitals across the country which are taking part in the study. Women attending neonatal appointments at centres in Montpellier, Lyon, Nimes, and SaintEtienne will be asked if they want to take part. Those participating must be over 18, be at least four and half months pregnant and smoke at least five ready-made, or three hand-rolled, cigarettes.
If they attend all of them and have successfully given up - they could earn over £200 in vouchers.
Testing saliva or urine can determine levels of nicotine in a woman’s body. The shopping vouchers will be redeemable in major high street shops - largely those which sell baby clothes and maternity products.
The wide-reaching initiative comes after figures from France’s ministry of health and social affairs released in 2015 which revealed that a large proportion of women in the country keep smoking despite expecting a child. One in four pregnant women smokes, despite warnings about the effects on the baby, and widely available NHS quit services. Around 5,000 babies die in the womb or shortly after birth from mothers smoking during pregnancy each year in the UK. In a 2014 scheme run by Professor David Tappin at Glasgow University and Professor Linda Bauld at Stirling University, 612 pregnant smokers were randomly assigned to one of two groups. Half were assigned to a group offered up to £400 of financial incentives if they engaged with ‘usual care’ smoking cessation services and/or quit smoking during pregnancy.
Switzerland also carried out a similar study, but offered women around £1,000 (FJ$ 3018.93) if they could successfully give up.
French women will be offered over £200 (FJ$603), to quit smoking as part of a new study into whether financial incentives help expectant mothers give up smoking.