Pregnant women in France are being offered up to £200 ($300 USD) if they agree to quit smoking, Daily Mail reports. A recent study in the UK found that only one in five expectant mothers successfully quits smoking, even if offered a financial reward.
There are 17 hospitals in France participating in the study. The objective is to prove that financial rewards may help expectant moms give up the smoking habit. Previous research came to the conclusion that even with a reward of some type, only 20 percent of the women will kick the habit.
Pregnant women are offered €20 ($22.81 USD) for each doctor visit they can prove they have not been smoking. In order to participate, they must be over the age of 18-years-old, at least four months along, and smoke at least five cigarettes a day. Each visit, they would have to test their saliva or urine to detect their current nicotine levels in their body.
They will see a specialist at every prenatal appointment that will go over strategies that may help with their lifestyle change. If they attend all the appointments with the cessation specialist, they could receive an addition bonus voucher that is redeemable at local department stores.
A 2015 France health study found that a large percentage of expectant mothers kept smoking when they found out they were pregnant, despite knowing the risk to their child. In France, up to 5,000 unborn and newborns die each year due to their mother’s inability to put the cigarette down.
France has a reputation for being a smoker friendly country. Recently, the country decided to take drastic measures to encourage pregnant women to quit. French doctors have tried explaining the risks to their patients, but very few expectant mothers have quit smoking. One in four pregnant women continues to smoke despite knowing that it could ultimately kill their child.
The vouchers are redeemable at a local department store and can be used to purchase maternity or baby items. Even with the incentive program in place, many women are unsuccessful in their effects to quit smoking.
In 2014, a French Study found that mothers that were given shopping vouchers were more likely to quit than those who were encouraged to do so because of health reasons. The study found that only 15 percent of the women were successful in kicking the habit long-term. Over 12 percent started smoking right after their baby was born.
The study outraged many people because they felt that pregnant smokers shouldn’t be rewarded, they should be punished. Instead of giving them a financial reward for putting the cigarettes down for a few months while carrying their child, social media users suggested they face hefty fines. Those who supported imposing a fine to pregnant smokers claimed that “it makes sense since they are endangering another life.”
Whether you agree or disagree with the incentive program, one thing is for sure, something needs to be done to protect the unborn children from their mother’s smoking habit. Do you think a financial reward is a correct way to get pregnant women to quit smoking? Do you think they should be fined for endangering their unborn child’s life?
Voice your opinion about the pregnant smoker study in the comments section below and come back later for more trending news and updates.
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