Page last updated at 12:16 GMT, Thursday, 22 January 2009

Support for mothers-to-be smokers

Cigarette
Expectant mothers are being offered food vouchers to stop smoking

Expectant mothers who smoke are being encouraged to kick the habit with the offer of 100 worth of Co-op food vouchers if they are successful.

Women will receive 20 of food vouchers if they stop smoking for a week, a further 40 after four weeks and another 40 if they stop for a year.

The scheme is being piloted in Greenstead, Colchester and in Harwich, by North East Essex NHS.

Participants' carbon monoxide levels will be checked regularly.

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Sue White, co-ordinator of the Colchester and Tendring NHS Stop Smoking Service, said: "Women who smoke during pregnancy are a key target group for our service.

"We hope by offering this added incentive of shopping vouchers, it could make the difference with some women between kicking the habit or carrying on smoking."

Women can sign up to the pilot until 7 March.

Last year the Colchester and Tendring NHS Stop Smoking Service offered companies the opportunity to set up their own stop-smoking clinics for their employees.



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