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Pregnant women should take 'smoking test': what do you think?

(490 Posts)
RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 12-May-13 10:39:45


There are reports in a couple of papers today (here and here - paywall) that NICE has recommended that all pregnant women be given a carbon monoxide test by their midwife in early pregnancy - effectively, a smoking test. If they test positive, the idea is that the midwife will signpost them to NHS smoking cessation services. The Royal College of Midwives is quoted as saying that they think the idea will adversely affect the relationship between women and their midwives.

We're getting asked what you all think about this - so do please let us know!

BobblyGussets Sun 12-May-13 10:41:52

Ridiculous idea. NICE needs to remind itself on what the term "Informed Consent" means. Rather more important in all aspects of healthcare than a daft carbon Monoxide test.

KatieScarlett2833 Sun 12-May-13 10:45:47

I would refuse the test.
Everyone already knows how to access smoking cessation should they wish it.
Utter meddlesome nonsense.

BedHanger Sun 12-May-13 10:47:22


LadyStark Sun 12-May-13 10:47:42

Stupid idea. I don't hand my body over to the state the minute I become pregnant and can see how it may deter people from seeking pre-natal care if they're going to be bollocked nagged to stop at every appointment.

coppertop Sun 12-May-13 10:49:59

I've never smoked in my life but would refuse this test. It reduces women to the level of children who can't be trusted to tell the truth.

FreddieMisaGREATshag Sun 12-May-13 10:52:02

Really terrible idea. Women are not just baby incubators once they're pregnant.

Will they be fully informed the purpose of the test?

Yonionekanobe Sun 12-May-13 10:52:30

Beyond daft and a complete waste of resource. If a woman is going to lie about smoking in pregnancy it is unlikely the cessation services will be taken up/effective.

GnocchiGnocchiWhosThere Sun 12-May-13 10:54:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ballroomblitz Sun 12-May-13 10:57:16

No. I gave up smoking in pregnancy, and was bloody proud of myself for doing so, but I still would refuse a test like this. I'm not a child and do not expect to be treated as one.

ChippingInLovesSunshine Sun 12-May-13 10:59:15

It would certainly affect my relationship with someone who tried to insist on it after I had told them I don't smoke and never have, I am not a liar and would be pissed off at being treat like one hmm

However I would put up with it if it had the magical ability to stop other women smoking during their pregnancy, but as it doesn't - what the hell is the point? They'll give up if they want to and wont if they don't - banging on about it everytime they're seen is far more likely to do the opposite!

RonaldMcDonald Sun 12-May-13 11:01:03

Nope. This is tripe.

tethersend Sun 12-May-13 11:01:55

Um, no.

If the woman wants to give up smoking, she will take up offer of smoking cessation services regardless of a test

If the woman's does not want to give up smoking, she will refuse the offer of smoking cessation services, regardless of a test.

In other words, there is no value in proving a woman is smoking if she doesn't want to admit it, as the fact that she does not want to disclose it means she is almost certain to refuse help to give up.

There is no purpose to the test.

It's a huge waste of money.

TheCountessOlenska Sun 12-May-13 11:09:58

My midwife did the carbon monoxide test on me at my booking in appointment last summer - so this is obviously already in practice round my way! I was a bit put out tbh - I said I had given up my couple of cigs a day habit as soon as I found out I was pg, so I felt like a naughty child who was not to be trusted when she got the test out.

VinegarDrinker Sun 12-May-13 11:15:05

You can tell if someone smokes by the smell and the stink of their handheld notes. I have found the vast majority of women tell the truth anyway.

I think it's a really awful idea.

Only possible advantage I could see is if it was sensitive to pick up the CO from passive smoking, which might provide the incentive for some selfish partners to give up.

Fuckwittery Sun 12-May-13 11:17:53

i was asked to do one at my booking in appt this pregnancy (15 weeks) straight after the smoking questions (havent smoked for 8 years, noone in the house smokes). I had heard it was being offered and had thought about refusingr. had a discussion with my mw about it and she said the test was also picking up women who commute with high exposure to pollution, i took the test for that reason. it can never be made compulsory, so i have no problem in it being offered.

GwendolineMaryLacey Sun 12-May-13 11:18:37

Pointless. I have never smoked and have no intention of starting, therefore why waste their time and money?

If I did smoke I'd have to be a bit thick to have missed all the warnings so I'd either have given up myself/accessed the help or decided for whatever reason to continue. A test won't change that.

KentuckyFriedChildren Sun 12-May-13 11:19:00

Jeez, why is it anyone else's business if a pregnant woman wants to smoke or not? Um freedom of choice anyone?

expatinscotland Sun 12-May-13 11:20:17

I never smoked whilst TTC or pregnant but no way would I consent to such a test! VERY bad idea.

VinegarDrinker Sun 12-May-13 11:22:08

So what would be done if it picked up that you had a high level of CO exposure due to your commute? Signed off work for 9 months?!

There is only a point in doing a test if it is going to have the potential to change something.

Bumbolina Sun 12-May-13 11:24:45

What about freedom of choice for the unborn child Kentucky?

I'm not sure the test has any purpose, but I'm not against taking one if asked. Seems like a huge waste of money overall though!

nextphase Sun 12-May-13 11:26:04

Is there a cost benefit anywhere?
I would have thought those who are going to give up smoking will, and most of us don't smoke anyway? Isn't there a better way to focus scarce resources???

MrsHoarder Sun 12-May-13 11:28:26

I did this test September 2011, wasn't aware it wasn't standard then.

I thought it was a bit of an intrusion tbh, but not enough to debate it when I was already eyeing the wastepaper basket for vomming purposes.

tribpot Sun 12-May-13 11:32:46

So the idea is to 'catch out' pregnant women who are smoking but lying about it (yet somehow agree to the test that will reveal they are lying) and then, presented with the evidence that they are lying, ask them nicely if they'd fancy going to the smoking cessation clinic? How or why would that work?

FreddieMisaGREATshag Sun 12-May-13 11:35:21

It's a step towards the Irish position, and lets not forget what happened there.

Really who in NICE came up with that one? Were they smoking waccy baccy at the time?

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