I say “we” as I assume it will be tax payers money that pay for this scheme. I simply cannot believe what I have heard in the news today: financial incentives could help pregnant women to stop smoking! Could being the operative word of that sentence, but what a crock of crap the entire sentence is, the entire idea is! Sorry, but I am on a rant and I don’t usually do this publicly on my blog. But this idea has just shocked me into it.


First off, why are these mothers not just wanting to quit? Why are they wanting to harm their unborn children? I do not smoke and have never, I hate it, but if I was pregnant and smoking I would stop right away. One of my close friends, who smoked heavily and drank quite a bit too before finding out she was pregnant, stopped as soon as she did find out. If she could do it, then I am sure anyone could. I just do not understand why women would accept money to help look after the health of their unborn babies, isn’t that just instinct? A maternal feeling that just takes over when you become a mum? Or is it greed and laziness? If these women stopped smoking, they would probably save more than the proposed £400 vouchers as a result of not buying cigarettes. Or even an e-cigarette is cheaper, isn’t it?


Smoking while pregnant can do severe harm to both mother and child. It is thought to be a cause of around 5,000 miscarriages a year, as well as more than 100 still births and more than 100 infant deaths. *quote from The Independent.


Why is that shocking sentence above not enough to provoke mothers-to-be into putting the cigarettes down? I do think this has a lot to do with mentalities; there are people out there who just don’t care and therefore have no willpower to do anything, the financial incentive may sound appealing but is it really going to make people like that stop smoking entirely? What happens towards the end of the pregnancy when things get tough and the worry over labour kicks in? What happens as the child is growing up and living in a pit of smoke as the parents sit and smoke cigarette after cigarette? OK what a dismal image that is, but you know where I am coming from? It might stop them smoking for a short term basis but I don’t feel it has legs to prevent harm coming to the unborn babies or the babies as they grow for that matter.


It makes me think of all the poor families in this country that live on benefits and do not work. Some of those people probably do not want to work, they do not care. They get to sit at home and watch their children grow up and we support them through it, we as tax payers. It’s that mentality that we are dealing with here, those people that just don’t care. I am sure its a small proportion of people who think this way, but why should we throw money at them – especially to do something which is natural: protect their unborn babies from harm. I work full time and have two small children at home so that I can, hopefully, buy a house and look after my family. I don’t get to see my children growing up everyday like those parents that don’t work and choose not to work. What help do I get? (Apart from the help to buy scheme, not much!). Why not?


Is this our future? Paying people to do things, giving them incentives to do the most natural of things? Whatever next? Paying teenagers to go to school? It won’t stop with pregnant women smoking. I really don’t mean to sound horrible, as I am sure it is not easy to walk away from a horrible and disgusting habit, but there is help out there that you can get with a free GP. Spend your  money on nicotine patches not cigarettes. Get some support and get some advice, use the family and friends around you – that’s what I have to do when I am in need.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 28th January 2015