We already know the risks of smoking during pregnancy. On this site, I've previous covered smoking-related information, such as the reduction in preterm deliveries in Scotland after a smoking ban, and even the influence of pre-conception smoking for prospective fathers.
Now a Canadian-based website is focusing on helping pregnant women quit through online support. The site, PREGNETS (Prevention of Gestational and Neonatal Exposure to Tobacco Smoke) was started by Toronto's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in 2003, but has just received a much-needed update after new funding, according to a press release. The Centre hopes that an on-line support group will help women overcome their fear of being judged or stigmatized for smoking. The program director, Dr. Peter Selby, believes many pregnant women hide their smoking habit because they know of the dangers, and as a result are more reluctant to seek help.
The site offers resources for healthcare professionals and women who want to quit tobacco, focusing primarily on creating an on-line support community for women.
If you are looking for support to quit smoking, PREGNETS may be a good place to start. You can also talk to your healthcare provider. Any doctor or midwife would rather help a patient quit than have a woman hiding her tobacco use.
Were you a smoker? What helped you quit?