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Pregnant Women (Smoking)

Volume 887: debated on Thursday 6 March 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the current rate of spending by the Medical Advisory Council on advertising the danger of smoking to pregnant women; and what is the extent to which her Department considers such a danger to exist.

The expenditure by the Health Education Council on the current campaign on the dangers of smoking to pregnant women will be about £150,000. Numerous published papers provide evidence that there exists a danger to the unborn child if the mother smokes during pregnancy. Babies born of mothers who smoke during pregnancy are more likely to be premature, underdeveloped and prone to disease than those born to nonsmoking mothers, and their later development may be retared. I consider it very important that expectant mothers should be aware of these risks.