The RCP said that at any point of contact with the NHS, smokers should be provided with “opt-out smoking cessation services.” Moreover, said the group, bearing in mind that most smokers are often from “lower socio-economic groups“, pregnant women should be given financial incentives to motivate them in achieving the goal.
These suggestions were put forward as part of a report compiled by the RCP, addressing what can be done to achieve the government’s “Smoke Free 2030” target. Sadly recent data has indicated that as it stands the goal will not actually be achieved until 2050.
“The ability of the UK and other countries to rise to major public health challenges is beyond doubt; the Covid-19 pandemic, by far the biggest new challenge to UK and global health in decades, has attracted a public health and economic response of a scale unique in the modern era,” read the report. “Yet in 2020, when Covid-19 killed around 80,000 UK citizens, tobacco smoking killed 94,000.”
Opinions of staff at Stop Smoking Services
In the UK e-cigarettes remain the most popular smoking cessation aid to date, however, opinions about vaping during pregnancy tend to vary. A local study aimed to gauge the general perception of English Stop Smoking Services (SSS) towards vaping in order to quit smoking amongst pregnant women.
Most SSS managers said they support the use of e-cigarettes amongst pregnant women who already vaped prior to the pregnancy. However they added, they would not recommend vaping to those who were still smoking and not using e-cigarettes. A total of 8.3% of the managers said they were likely/very likely to advise using e-cigarettes, while 56.9% of SSS were unlikely/very unlikely to advise using them.
Fifteen of the total respondents were interviewed further and these were generally positive about the use of e-cigarettes for smoking cessation in pregnancy. However, concerns about the perceived lack of evidence for safety were brought up and the majority expressed a desire for further research on the topic.