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New Zealand Specific Healthcare Question 11
A program that pays women $200 for not smoking during each trimester of their pregnancy has been found to be cost-effective. If you were a politician would you support this? What are the implications?
Smoking during pregnancy has been linked to an increased chance of low birth weights, preterm labour and stillbirth and SIDS. Therefore, any initiative which is likely to reduce these outcomes is worth supporting as the outcomes for these babies are costly.
Women who are participating in this initiative would require close monitoring by their lead maternity carers to ensure that they had in fact been smoke free for the duration of the pregnancy.
There is also the issue with women who are non-smokers but have decided that they too should have this money.
Finally, this initiative may unintentionally promote the misconceptions that smoking in the lead up to pregnancy or post-partum is safe. So rather than women remaining smokefree post-partum, they take it up again and are at risk of SIDS.