Pregnant French women offered €300 to quit smoking

The Local France
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Pregnant French women offered €300 to quit smoking
Photo: ~zipporah~/Flickr

Researchers are planning to carry out a study to determine whether French woman would continue to smoke while pregnant if they were offered a financial incentive to stop.


Researchers are on the hunt for 400 women who are smokers and currently pregnant.
They intend to carry out a study in which half the women will be paid €300 in vouchers as an incentive to quit smoking. 
They will be offered vouchers that can be used at popular stores around France, which they can continue to receive as long as they test negative to nicotine as their pregnancy progresses. 
The other half won't receive the vouchers and will act as the control group.
"The main advantage of the financial incentive is getting those who need help quitting to regularly come and see health professionals," one of the researchers, Bertrand Dautzenberf, told France Info
"A pregnant woman who is getting her smoking addiction checked each month is much more likely to stop smoking than one who doesn't come."
Those taking part in the survey mast be less that 18 weeks pregnant and in the habit of smoking at least five cigarettes a day. 
It shouldn't be too much of a tough ask to find 400 women that fit the criteria, with pregnant smoking a popular (and worrying) habit in France. Almost one in five French women who smoke don't give up their cigarettes throughout their pregnancy.
These figures, released last year by the National Institute of Prevention and Health Education (INPES), showed that nowhere in Europe do pregnant women smoke as much as they do in France.
Indeed, 17.8 percent of women smoke all the way into their third trimester of pregnancy. The figures prompted the French government to announce that cigarette packets in France would include a non-smoker pregnant woman pictogram. 
There are many dangers of smoking during pregnancy. 
The chemicals in cigarettes, which include cyanide and lead, pass into the smoker's bloodstream, which provides unborn children with their only source of oxygen and nutrients. These chemicals can cause stunted baby growth, premature births, and at worse - stillbirths.
Gérard Audureau, the president of the anti-smoking association Droits des Non-Fumeurs (non-smokers rights), told The Local last year that authorities could be blamed for France's poor record of pregnant smokers. 
"MPs and senators have always been sensitive to the demands of the tobacco industry who want to continue to show that smoking is normal," he said.
"This is why French woman may have an attitude towards tobacco that is different than we see in other countries where it is well known that smoking is very dangerous."


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