London, : A new study has revealed that pregnant women are more likely to quit smoking if they are paid in shopping vouchers.
The study of 600 participants found that women who were paid 400 Pounds to buy products gave up smoking quicker than those who were not paid, The Mirror reports.
According to experts, the estimate cost to the NHS of treating the after-effects of smoking in pregnancy, in both mothers and babies, is as much as 87.5 million pounds.
In a Glasgow-based trial, participants were all assigned to the NHS GGC Stop Smoking Services, with half randomly chosen to also receive the vouchers as an incentive.
The results showed that 22.5 percent of the participants gave up their habit compared to 8.6 percent of the others.
David Tappin of Glasgow University and Linda Bauld of Stirling University said smoking in pregnancy accounted for up to 30 percent of low birth weight babies and up to 14 percent of pre-term deliveries, and was associated with increased risks for ectopic pregnancy, premature rupture of membranes, stillbirth, low birth weight and congenital anomalies such as cleft lip.
The researchers concluded that identifying pregnant women who smoke, engaging with them and supporting them to quit smoking during pregnancy was a key international tobacco policy priority. (ANI)