Hertfordshire’s bumpy ride

By Jim McManus | 09 June 2015

The case for targeting pregnant smokers is clear. Smoking is the single most modifiable risk factor for adverse outcomes in pregnancy – maternal smoking causes up to 5,000 miscarriages, 300 perinatal deaths and around 2,200 premature singleton births each year.

Smoking in pregnancy and exposure to second-hand smoke is also strongly associated with cot death. Then there are the longer-term links to ADHD, obesity and type 2 diabetes.

As a council which is always looking to get the best value from every pound, the financial rationale is equally compelling – NHS figures put the cost of treating the resulting problems for mothers at £64m a year, and £23.5m for treating infants under one. By supporting local families we can realise immediate health benefits for mums and bumps, and also reduce the need for costly interventions in the future.

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