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More help to quit smoking in pregnancy

NICE issues guidance on commissioning maternal smoking cessation services

Louise Prime

Friday, 21 January 2011

New guidance will help more women to quit smoking when they are pregnant as well as making cost savings, says the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).

NICE says that its guide to commissioning services for women who want to quit smoking during and after pregnancy and childbirth will support local implementation of NICE guidance in this area, so that commissioned health and social care services are more evidence-based and therefore more effective.

NICE said that the benefits of improving the commissioning of maternal smoking cessation services include: reduced morbidity and infant mortality, improved choice of and engagement with services for women, reduced costs associated with maternal and child ill health linked to smoking in pregnancy, and increased clinical and cost-effectiveness of services.

Jennifer Field, NICE associate director - costing and commissioning, said: “We know that the average GP practice will see around 27 pregnant women per year who will be smoking at first maternity booking and referred to an NHS Stop Smoking Service. We also know that smoking during pregnancy is the single most modifiable risk factor for adverse outcomes in pregnancy.

“This commissioning guide shows commissioners how they can reduce morbidity and cost by ensuring that clear and systematic referral pathways are in place for pregnant women who smoke to be referred into appropriate services and to receive help to quit, and by ensuring that service providers are trained and competent to provide evidence-based interventions.”

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