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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 May, 2004, 10:04 GMT 11:04 UK
Breath test move for mums-to-be
Mother-to-be Fiona Ross undergoes a breath test
Pregnant women like Fiona Ross will be offered the breath test
All mothers-to-be in Glasgow are to undergo breath tests in an attempt to detect smokers.

Under the breathe project, pregnant women in and around the city will have their carbon monoxide levels measured on their first visit to a clinic.

Those who smoke will then be referred to a specialist midwife who will aim to help them quit.

The services on offer range from a personal action plan to nicotine replacement therapy (NRT).

It is estimated that 27% of mothers-to-be in Glasgow smoke.

Lung damage

The Scottish Executive has set the city the target of cutting that number to 23% by 2005 and 20% by 2010.

Doctors say that smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of premature birth and lung damage in babies.

The breathe project, which will cover the entire NHS Greater Glasgow area, is now under way in the city.

The initiative is led by Lorraine Jarvie of Smoking Concerns at Eastbank Health Promotion Centre.

Children of smokers are also far more likely to have a low birth weight or to be born premature and to suffer more chest problems throughout their lives
Dr Neil Gibson
Yorkhill Hospital.
She said that those women identified as smokers by the carbon monoxide test would be given the option of referral to one of the two new "smoking cessation link" midwives.

"A face-to-face appointment with one of these key midwives will see a smoking cessation action plan devised, outlining how the mum-to-be intends to quit and why she wants to do it," said Ms Jarvie.

"This will be followed by a risk benefit analysis before NRT is recommended by the link midwife.

"The woman can get this from one of the many pharmacies participating in the Starting Fresh stop smoking scheme across Glasgow."

The woman will then receive weekly telephone calls offering support for four weeks, then meet the midwife again before a Starting Fresh pharmacist takes over the counselling.

Baby wearing breathe t-shirt
Even newborn babies are backing the campaign
The project has the support of Dr Neil Gibson, consultant in paediatric respiratory medicine at Yorkhill Hospital.

He said: "Smoking during pregnancy can seriously damage your unborn baby's lung development.

"Recent research suggests that babies born to mothers who smoke will have underdeveloped lungs, that the lungs will never catch up and that the damage could be permanent.

"Children of smokers are also far more likely to have a low birth weight or to be born premature and to suffer more chest problems throughout their lives.

"They are also are four times more likely to need hospitalisation for chest infections than children whose parents don't smoke."

He said that cutting out smoking during pregnancy would also lead to a reduction in the hundreds of children admitted to Yorkhill each year with the severe chest infection bronchiolitis.

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02 Mar 04  |  Health
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22 Sep 03  |  Scotland
Nicotine hits newborns hard
02 Jun 03  |  Health

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