ASH Ireland has noted the contents of a report, “Maternal Health Behaviours and Child Growth in Infancy”, published today by the Growing Up in Ireland Study team, which among other things, deals with smoking rates among women who are pregnant.
The fact that 13% of Irish women continue to smoke while pregnant is of concern, however, we must also recognise that this is a significant decrease on the 28% of pregnant women found to be smoking back in 1999. We have also noted that the smoking rates apply primarily to people in the lower socio economic groups. It is crucially important that support and investment is provided so that these women who continue to smoke during pregnancy can find ways of quitting. This is a challenge for our health services.
There is long established evidence to show that babies born to women who smoke during pregnancy are of lower body weight and this of course does raise health issues for the baby at birth and into the future.
ASH Ireland would of course encourage all persons who smoke to attempt to quit, especially pregnant women, but we also realise that many people will require significant support and assistance to do so.
For contact: ASH Ireland: 0818-305055
Wally Young, Young Communications: 087-2471520