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New mothers and mums to be urged to quit smoking in Stoptober

New mothers and mums to be who smoke are being urged to think of their child and try to give up smoking this Stoptober.

Nearly 45,000 people in Wolverhampton smoke, many of them new mums, and sadly Wolverhampton has one of the highest rates of infant mortality in the country - with smoking in pregnancy a key factor.

Councillor Sandra Samuels, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: "The health and well being of our young people is a key priority for the council and health services in Wolverhampton, and we know that the rate of infant mortality in the city is far too high.

"We've put services in place to identify women early in their pregnancy and help them reduce or stop smoking prior to the birth of the baby, and we also promote the importance of providing a smoke free environment for babies and children.

"We recognise that giving up smoking is not an easy thing to do, but mums - and dads - need to put the health of their family first. This month is Stoptober, the annual challenge to people to stop smoking, and there is a lot of help and support out there to help people in Wolverhampton quit."

Ros Jervis, Wolverhampton's Director of Public Health, said: "There are a number of factors that contribute to an increased risk of a baby dying within the first year of their life. One of the major risk factors is smoking in pregnancy, and in addition, many women continue to smoke after the birth of their child.

"Evidence shows that if a smoker can go 28 days without a cigarette, they are 5 times more likely to stay permanently smoke free. Stopping smoking can be a difficult process but it's something that all people - particularly mums and mums to be - should try to do, not only for their health but for their family's health."

Meanwhile, the impact of smoking on the local economy has been revealed as local employers throw their weight behind Stoptober.

According to anti smoking group ASH, smoking costs Wolverhampton £68.7 million per year, with local businesses losing £29 million a year through smoking breaks and smoking related sick leave costing another £5. Furthermore, the NHS spends £9 million treating smoking related illnesses in the city every year.

Dr Lola Abudu, Public Health consultant for PHE West Midlands, said: "Stoptober is a great opportunity to make a serious quit attempt with the support of friends and family. Apart from the obvious benefits to health, a reduction in the number of smokers in the West Midlands will help to boost the local economy and significantly reduce the cost to the region's health services."

For free help and support to stop smoking, please call Wolverhampton's Healthy Lifestyles team on 01902 444246 or 0800 073 4242 or visit Stoptober.

  • released: Monday 6 October, 2014