Coronation Street actress Samia Ghadie has launched a campaign to encourage expectant parents in Doncaster to quit smoking. The campaign highlights the dangers of smoking when pregnant and also raises awareness of the risks of passive smoking from other family members.
As part of the launch at Doncaster Royal Infirmary, Samia, who is expecting her second child later this year, met pregnant women from the town, including Natasha Shah and Natalie Potts from Doncaster. Both Natalie and Natasha have given up smoking since becoming pregnant to help protect their babies from the many risks associated with smoking during pregnancy.
To celebrate their achievement of kicking the habit, and to encourage other expectant parents to do the same, the smokefree mums-to-be had their baby bumps painted by local body artist Joanne Partington from Doncaster.
Samia had a good chat with local mums-to-be, while she helped put the finishing touches to the designs on each baby bump. She said: “Natalie and Natasha have done really well to quit the habit. Protecting a baby from cigarette smoke – even before they are born – is one of the best things both parents can do to give their baby a healthy start in life.
“I’m really pleased to be supporting this campaign, which highlights just how much help and support is available for smokers to quit. It’s never too late to stop smoking and a new baby can be a great reason to quit for any family member, whether you’re pregnant, an expectant father or you’re about to become a grandparent.”
Councillor Pat Knight, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing at Doncaster Council, said: “Every cigarette you smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, which can harm your unborn baby. Smoking can lead to complications during pregnancy, as well as an increased risk of premature birth, breathing problems and even stillbirth.
“Although many people are aware of these dangers, it’s a real concern that 21 percent of pregnant women in Doncaster are still smokers at the time of delivery. This is higher than the national average, which is 11 percent.
“Through this campaign, we aim to encourage more pregnant smokers, and their partners, to quit by letting them know just how much help is available in Doncaster. It’s also important to mention the impact other family members can have, if your partner smokes, their smoke can affect you and the baby both before and after birth. You may also find it more difficult to stop if someone around you smokes.
“Once people stop smoking, the body rids itself of poisonous gases like carbon monoxide and other harmful chemicals so it is never too late to quit.”
In addition, children whose parents smoke are more likely to suffer from asthma and other more serious illnesses. There is also an increased risk of cot death (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) among babies whose parents smoke.
To find out more about the free support available to help pregnant smokers, their partners and close family quit, contact your smoking in pregnancy midwife on 01302 876 290 or visit www.yorkshiresmokefree.nhs.uk.