Preg­nant women in France of­fered $603 by doc­tors to quit smok­ing

Fiji Sun - - Sun Spectrum - Feed­back: jy­otip@fi­

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.

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