£400 Given to Pregnant Women in Britain if They Stop Smoking

But does this new scheme work?

Paul Tamburroby Paul Tamburro

Pregnant women in Britain are being given £400 worth of shopping vouchers if they quit smoking. 

The scheme was made as part of a trial to see whether a monetary incentive would inspire the women to quit smoking more than being aided by the National Health Service (NHS), with £400 worth of Love2Shop vouchers, which can be used at a number of high street stores, being given to one test group, while another was awarded incrementally with £50 for booking an appointment with the NHS, £50 for taking a carbon monoxide test in order to indicate whether they had remained cigarette-free, £100 for not smoking for another 12 weeks and £200 when the test group had not smoked for another 34-38 weeks.

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The results of the test showed that 22% pregnant women given the vouchers had quit smoking throughout the duration of the study, while only 8.6% had quit smoking when given NHS treatment. The study took place in areas of Glasgow and Clyde that were deemed by the researchers as being “materially deprived.” The study was composed of over 600 pregnant women.

With 12% of women in Britain continuing to smoke whilst pregnant, the researchers hope that the study can be carried out on a larger scale in more regions, with plans for it to roll out again in August 2015. While the number of pregnant smokers is on the decline year-over-year, over one-tenth of Britain’s pregnant population continuing to smoke is still concerning given the impact that tobacco and nicotine can have upon unborn babies. 

It remains to be seen whether the findings of this study will warrant a further, broader investigation, but one thing’s for sure: there are a lot of pregnant women in Glasgow shopping in Argos and Boots right now.

Photo: Getty Images