Ritchie highlights dangers of smoking during pregnancy
ULSTER Unionist councillor Drew Ritchie has voiced concerns over recent news that in parts of Northern Ireland as many as 55 per cent of mums smoke.
Alderman Ritchie added that a concentrated effort is needed to further increase awareness of the dangers of mothers smoking during pregnancy and early childhood.
“Protecting your baby from tobacco smoke is vital to ensuring they have a healthy start in life,” Ald. Ritchie said.
He added: “ The statistics available on the Children & Young People’s Strategic Partnership (CYPSP) website make for shocking reading.
“They reveal that in some wards in Northern Ireland the percentage of mums who smoke is as high; with 50% in the Greystone ward, Antrim, smoking despite the health risks to their children,” Ald. Ritchie said.
He added: “There are huge risks involved with smoking during pregnancy. Smoking can also increase the risk of ongoing health problems for children such as asthma.
“Further effort is needed to reduce the numbers of mothers smoking and the additional health inequality caused by smoking.
“However, it is encouraging to note that with the right support and education, the percentage of mothers smoking can be dramatically reduced.”
Ald. Ritchie said that within Antrim, there has been a dramatic reduction in the percentage of mothers who smoke following Early Years educational health support from Horizon SureStart, Health visitors and smoking cessation support from local pharmacists.
He added that the CYPSP statistics show that between 2008 and 2011 “there has been a dramatic reduction in some areas in the proportion of mums who smoke”.
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Thursday 20 June 2013
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