Why Pregnant Teenagers Still Continue Smoking

June 4th, 2012 00:00

About six of ten teenage mothers continue to smoke during pregnancy despite a great decrease in the number of youngsters smoking over the past year. The given data have shocked experts and could mean that the government will omit main objectives for improving the nation’s health. The topic of young mothers who smoke during pregnancy was in the news last week when X-Factor finalist Stacey Solomon, confessed that she was smoking two months before she gave birth. Despite her furor, Solomon was officially deprived of her title “Mum of the year”.

The recently conducted study by the Department of Health demonstrated that the percentage of people in England who light up has dropped from 22% to 19% within the past year. Also a 5% fall in the number of young smokers, mostly young women. Over the past 10 years the rate of teen girls who light up has decreased to a record low, from 30% to 16%. As about women smokers the decrease has settled down. Probably the main concern is related to pregnant teenagers and their habit. According to estimates six out of ten pregnant teenagers light up regularly. Just a third of them had the power to stop smoking in comparison to 2/3 of older mothers.

Pregnant Teenagers smoke

The study also found out that depressed women are four times more likely to light up during pregnancy than non-depressed. The government officials hope to decrease the percentage of pregnant women who smoke to 10% by 2015. But unfortunately these figures have fallen by only 0.1% to 12.8%, mostly due to teenage mothers who refuse to quit, confirming that the objective won’t be achieved.

Also socioeconomic factors are the one that play a key role in determining if teenagers smoke while being pregnant and if they quit. Usually women from manual groups are three times likely to smoke than those from upper class. The study suggests health officials have to find adequate measures of discouraging teenage mothers from their habit. Professor Megan Graham of York University has found that education, age and lone parenthood are most often incidence of lighting up during pregnancy.

Graham stated that government policy has led to smear tactics of disadvantaged groups. As result, the present government strategy of “advertising lifestyles more often found in middle-class societies is hardly probable to promote social cohesiveness”, Graham added. “We also found that our health behavior depends greatly of those around us be that smoking or quitting,” Graham said.

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