Smoking, Pregnancy and Stigma in England: Challenges of an Incentivised Smoking Cessation Programme
1University of Northampton, Institute of Health and Wellbeing, United Kingdom
2Children and Women’s Hospital, British Columbia Centre of Excellence of Women’s Health, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
3Simon Fraser University, School of Public Policy, Canada
4University of Brighton, School of Health Sciences, United Kingdom
Smoking is understood to be the primary cause of preventable morbidity and premature death in the UK. In Northamptonshire, UK, rate of smoking among adults was 20.9% (~ 144,607 people) in 2011/12. Among pregnant women, rate of smoking at time of birth was higher in Northamptonshire (16%) compared to the national average (13.2%) in 2011/12. Figures suggest the need to generate new knowledge and understandings on how to safely and effectively help women, particularly those living in the margins of society, with tobacco addiction. This presentation discusses how pregnant women who smoke face multiple layers of stigmatization in relation to gender, age, and socio-economic status and how these act as either facilitators or barriers to accessing services. A mixed quantitative (cross-sectional analysis) and qualitative (in-depth interviews) approach was applied to assess aggregated effectiveness of the program and understand individual-level positive and negative experiences of the program. Findings report gendered influences on smoking such as partner influence, socioeconomic impact of lone-motherhood and individual, societal and structural stigma surrounding mothers that smoke.