Are smoking breath tests for all pregnant women a step too far?

Expectant mums to be tested to check they are not smoking under new NHS guidelines

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Expectant mums are to be breathalysed to prove if they are smoking or not during their pregnancy, new NHS guidance recommends.

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The proposals, due to come into force later this year, follow concerns that 1-in-3 women smoke during pregnancy, but is this a step too far?

NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) has said women should be tested for carbon monoxide found in cigarettes during antenatal appointments, and given help to quit if levels are too high, reports The Guardian.

The proposals have been backed by midwifes, despite expressing some reservations.

Cathy Warwick, chief executive of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) reportedly said the tests would be very helpful “in showing to women the potential damage that smoking can have on their baby”

“Any test which becomes routine must be offered along with comprehensive information and women must be able to opt out,” she warned.

“We would like (NICE) to make clear in any advice to women that midwives should offer the test but that ultimately the final decision must lie with the woman.”

Although the tests will not be compulsory, mums-to-be may feel obliged to take them after being asked to do so in hospital.

What do you think?

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