Smoking in Pregnancy: Challenging the conventional approach to cessation for the maternal smoker
Leena Sankla and Carrie Fogg
Leena Sankla Director of Public Health & Life Style Services, Solutions 4 Health, Reading
Tackling the issue of smoking in pregnancy has historically proved challenging. Despite overwhelming evidence of the effects of tobacco on the unborn child, 11.4 % of pregnant women continue to take the risk nationally.
Smoking prevalence at time of delivery In North Lincolnshire is significantly higher at 19.2%. Quit rates for this target group were underwhelming, (32 4 week quits from March to December 2015).
It became clear that the traditional clinic based approach was ineffective, and a fresh new approach was needed.
The MeTime Healthy Pregnancy Service was launched in North Lincolnshire in January 2016. Based on the program of support provided in the Wirral, it takes a holistic, integrated approach to smoking cessation by offering a range of healthy lifestyle activities such as exercise, healthy eating and stress management.
Although in its infancy, the results look promising. With 21 4 weeks quits achieved since it was introduced, it is becoming evident that community support is extremely effective in engaging with the pregnant smoker.
This presentation will give an overview of the development of the service, the barriers that were overcome and the adaptations that have been made to make it suited to the needs of the local demographic.
Leena is a Director of Public Health and Lifestyle Services with overall responsibility for a number smoking cessation projects across England, commissioned by Local Authorities. Her particular expertise is with hard to reach groups, specifically black minority & ethnic (BME) groups, socially deprived groups and routine and manual workers.
She has worked closely on a number of health watch TV programmes and has lectured for the WHO at St Georges Hospital, International Centre for Drug Policy, and works closely with the Advocacy Forum for Tobacco Control (AFTC), at the Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai. Leena is also a Master Trainer on Chronic Disease Self Management from Stanford University.
Source of funding: North Lincolnshire County Council