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Pregnant women to get free vapes to stop them from smoking

Gabriella Ferlita

Published 
| Last updated 

Pregnant women to get free vapes to stop them from smoking

Featured Image Credit: Antonio Guillem Fernández / Alamy Stock Photo Wavebreakmedia Ltd UC5 / Alamy Stock Photo

We all know that smoking is bad for our health, especially when it comes to expectant mums.

During pregnancy, cigarettes can restrict the essential oxygen supply to baby and increase the risk of premature birth, stillbirth and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), according to the NHS.

But some mums-to-be will soon be offered free vapes in a bid to stop them from smoking during their pregnancy.

A council in London has announced the scheme as part of its ‘stop smoking’ service in the area - which will help parents save up to £2,000 a year which would usually be spent on cigarettes, tobacco and smoking accessories.

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Expectant people are soon to be offered free vapes in a bid to stop them from smoking during their pregnancy. Credit: Pexels
Expectant people are soon to be offered free vapes in a bid to stop them from smoking during their pregnancy. Credit: Pexels

Lambeth Council in south London is rolling out the strategy in response to child and family poverty in the area, with the authorities making the decision to provide e-cigarettes to pregnant women despite the little-known effects on those carrying babies or raising young children.

The NHS explains that the devices "are fairly new and there are still some things we do not know", adding: “Current evidence on e-cigarettes indicates they are much less risky than smoking.”

Ben Kind, the cabinet minister for children and young people said: “The council is soon to start providing free vape products, as part of the stop smoking service, to smokers who are pregnant and/or are carers of young children.

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The effects of vaping in pregnancy are not fully known. Credit: Pexels
The effects of vaping in pregnancy are not fully known. Credit: Pexels

“This is aimed at improving the health of the family and saving money in the process of approximately £2,000 per year per family.

“It is estimated over 3,000 households in Lambeth fall under the poverty line due to smoking and many of these households include children,” he said, as reported in the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

The decision to hand out vaping devices to parents who already smoke comes after a government-commissioned study by King’s College London found that vaping still has its side-effects.

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However, researchers highlighted that the study was ‘good news’ for those who vape instead of smoking traditional cigarettes, as they are ‘substantially less harmful’ than smoking.

The scheme is thought to help parents in poorer areas to save money. Credit: Pexels
The scheme is thought to help parents in poorer areas to save money. Credit: Pexels

But not much is known still about vaping outcomes during pregnancy, where evidence 'remains insufficient’.

The authors of the study concluded: “Effects of vaping on foetal development and pregnancy outcomes remain in particular need of research, including the effects of switching from smoking to vaping in the perinatal phase.”

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The response from UK residents has been mixed, with many unable to understand why an expectant parent wouldn’t simply quit smoking.

However, others argued that a child's welfare 'matters more than teaching the adults a lesson’ and would ultimately cost the council less to treat a parent's addiction with a vape as opposed to treating a child with life-threatening conditions as a result of smoking.

Laura wrote in a tweet beneath a BBC article on the matter: “One could point out that the cost to the taxpayer to treat any smoking-related health issues the child ends up with if the mother continues smoking during pregnancy might be more expensive than providing the vape in the first place.”

Topics: Parenting, Health, Science

Gabriella Ferlita
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