PARENTS

Coronation Street's Samia Ghadie Helps Launch Campaign To Stop Pregnant Women Smoking

22/07/2015 15:53 BST | Updated 22/07/2015 15:59 BST

Coronation Street star Samia Ghadie has helped launch a campaign to encourage expectant mothers to quit smoking in South Yorkshire.

The campaign, called 'Mind The Bump' aims to highlight the dangers of smoking when pregnant and raise awareness of the risks of passive smoking from other family members.

Ghadie, who is expecting her second child later this year, met women who have all given up smoking since becoming pregnant to celebrate their achievement of kicking the habit at the launch.

She said: "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."

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Ghadie continued: "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."

To celebrate the launch, local baby bump artist Joanne Partington painted the expectant mum's bumps.

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The campaign is being run by the South Yorkshire Tobacco Control Collaborative, a joint venture by Doncaster and Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Councils and Sheffield City Council to tackle the harmful effects of tobacco use across the three authorities.

Councillor Jackie Drayton, Sheffield City Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families, said: "Being pregnant can be one of the most rewarding times in a woman’s life and there is no doubt new parents want the best start possible for their babies.

"I am sure everyone knows the health risks associated with smoking when pregnant – to mothers and of course their babies. But we know it can be really hard to quit smoking, especially if it is something you have done for a long time.

"Anything which helps mums-to-be and their families to quit smoking can only be a good thing."

Smoking can lead to complications during pregnancy, as well as an increased risk of premature birth, breathing problems and even stillbirth.

According to the NHS, every cigarette you smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, so smoking when you are pregnant harms your unborn baby. Cigarettes can restrict the essential oxygen supply to your baby, so their heart has to beat harder every time you smoke.

The NHS states that quitting smoking during pregnancy will contribute to a healthier baby, reduce the risk of stillbirth and help you cope better with the birth.

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Helen Baston, Consultant Midwife Public Health from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Jessop Wing, added: “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 from their midwife and local stop smoking services.

“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.”

To find out more about the free support available to help pregnant smokers, visit www.nhs.uk/smokefree or follow @_mindthebump.

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