Coronation Street actress Samia Ghadie has launched a campaign to encourage expectant parents in South Yorkshire to quit smoking.
‘Mind The Bump’ highlights the dangers of smoking when pregnant and also raises awareness of the risks of passive smoking from other family members.
As part of the launch, Samia - who is expecting her second child later this year - met pregnant women in the region who have all given up smoking since becoming pregnant.
Samia said: “Protecting a baby from cigarette smoke - even before they are born - is one of the best things both parents can do to give their baby a healthy start in life and the women I met today have done really well.
“It’s never too late to stop smoking and a new baby can be a great reason to quit for any family member.”
Every cigarette smoked contains over 4,000 chemicals, which can lead to complications during pregnancy, an increased risk of premature birth, breathing problems and even stillbirth or cot death.
Although many people are aware of the dangers, there is a real concern a high proportion of pregnant women in South Yorkshire are still smokers at the time of delivery.
The Mind The Bump campaign is being run by the South Yorkshire Tobacco Control Collaborative, a joint venture by Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster councils.
Across all three boroughs the number of pregnant smokers is higher than the national average.
Helen Baston, consultant midwife in public health at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals’ Jessop Wing, said: “Once people stop smoking, the body rids itself of poisonous gases like carbon monoxide and other harmful chemicals so it is never too late to quit and there’s a lot of support available to help people do just that.”