10 Jan 2015

Scheme to help pregnant women quit

2:51 pm on 10 January 2015

Pregnant women on the West Coast are being offered petrol vouchers to entice them to give up smoking.

pregnant woman smoking

Photo: Science Photo Library / IHO

The programme follows a trial of the scheme in Counties Manukau.

With nearly 5000 smokers on the West Coast, the district health board decided it was time to act.

Expectant mothers can now be referred by their midwives to smokefree counsellors who can offer them fuel vouchers each week they do not light up.

The scheme's trial in south Auckland resulted in a 65 percent quit rate - more than double the average for regular stop smoking programmes.

West Coast smoke-free services co-ordinator John Caygill said even when a woman discovered she was pregnant, she could still find it incredibly hard to kick the habit.

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