Smoking in pregnancy

Current activity

  • Maternal Wellbeing Coordinator working closely with maternity teams to ensure maternity staff understand the importance of raising the issue of smoking and to promote as routine antenatal care. Also to deliver and implement best practice (as per NICE guidelines).
  • In 2013 a 12 month pilot was introduced in Central Bedfordshire providing a different and new programme (Smokefree Baby and Me) to support pregnant women to stop smoking. An enhanced, prescriptive and empowering tailored programme with the aim of being a ‘one stop shop’ commenced. The results demonstrated an increase of conversion rates from 35% to 54% and a quit rate to 60% (national quit rate is 40%.)
    • From April to June 2014 this programme alone delivered a 1% decrease in the smoking at time of delivery data (internal analysis)
    • The programme supports women to continue abstinence, antenatally until 1 month postpartum
    • The pilot has now been implemented into core services for Public Health
  • Clinics are offered to pregnant women and their partners in the community at a range of different locations including:
    • GP practices
    • Pharmacy outlets
    • Children centres
    •  Supermarkets
    • Home visits
  • In the planning stages to work in partnership with community midwives in Houghton Regis to provide stop smoking information sessions in conjunction with the midwife antenatal clinic. This will include insight sessions  from women who choose not to access the service to determine why women may not wish to stop smoking whilst pregnant


Partnership Working

The Healthy Child Programme (0-5)

Promotion of health and wellbeing is incorporated in the Healthy Child Programme (Department of Health 2009). The document sets out universal standards to support local delivery encompassing smoking status of either parent. It advises that families who smoke should be referred into specialist services and offered smoke free environments


Family Nurse Partnership (FNP)

Central Bedfordshire is introducing the Family Nurse Partnership programme with delivery commencing October 2015. In essence it involves structured home visits dedicated for first time mothers and fathers aged 19 and under. A specially trained family nurse will provide home visits throughout the antenatal, postnatal and early year’s period until the child is two years old[i].

Luton & Dunstable University Hospital

Planning is due to take place with the Matron and Sonographers Department to include stop smoking brief advice and a referral into the Smoking In Pregnancy Stop Smoking Service from the serial scanning programme team. It is to identify those classed at high risk of potential problems including women who smoke more than ten a day.

These women will be automatically transferred into the serial scanning programme offering an increase of scans from two to at least four enabling a fuller monitor of the baby. 


[i] NHS 2014 Family Nurse Partnership [online] Available at

Last updated Friday, 22nd April 2016