The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare issued the Australia’s Mothers and Babies 2012 report recently, which revealed 12.5% of women nationally smoked while pregnant in 2012.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare issued the Australia’s Mothers and Babies 2012 report recently, which revealed 12.5% of women nationally smoked while pregnant in 2012. Warren Lynam

Teenage mums who smoke while pregnant regret it later

MORE than a third of teenage mothers in Queensland smoke at some point during their pregnancy.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare issued the Australia's Mothers and Babies 2012 report recently, which revealed 12.5% of women nationally smoked while pregnant in 2012.

It showed 35% of teenage mothers and 15% of all mothers in Queensland also lit up while pregnant.

Alesia was one of them in her youth.

The Sippy Downs woman began smoking when she was 15 and didn't quit until she was 27 years old.

Alesia smoked while pregnant with her first child at the age of 19 and said it was a "huge regret".

"I never really took the consequences seriously," she said.

"I know the public are more comfortable in voicing their opinions now, but back then I had a couple of friends who would say things like 'Your baby is going to come out with two fingers'.

"When I was older and trying to get pregnant with my daughter I quit smoking altogether beforehand."

Fortunately there were no complications with the pregnancy or her son.

Alesia admits it was hard to quit and often found herself replacing cigarettes with food, but she said healthy babies were her ultimate goal and it was worth the struggle.

Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said the report figures were concerning and highlighted the need for joint action to address smoking in the community.

Ms Clift supported the move of the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Services to ban smoking within its ground from January 1 in line with new state legislation which bans smoking, including vaporisers (e-cigarettes) within 5m of any hospital or health service.

SCHHS Executive Director Clinical Services Kerrie Hayes corr said this reinforced the message hospitals were places for the provision of healthcare and the promotion of healthy lifestyle choices.

"The new laws will support the health and wellbeing of patients, the public and our staff by ensuring our facilities are smoke free," Ms Hayes said.

Patients admitted to SCHHS hospitals or facilities will be offered the use of free nicotine replacement therapies such as patches and gum.

To further support patients who have a nicotine dependency, staff members from across the SCHHS have undergone smoking cessation training.

Under the legislation, the smoking ban will be enforceable and may include the issue of on-the-spot fines.

All pregnant women in Queensland can receive specialised assistance with quitting through Hospital and Health Services and the Quitline.


 



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