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Plan to halt smoking in pregnancy

Pregnant women who smoke could soon be offered gift vouchers as an incentive to quit the habit under new plans from an NHS Trust.

Mothers-to-be in parts of Shropshire would have to prove they had successfully kicked the habit before they could get the vouchers.

Telford and Wrekin NHS Trust has proposed the scheme, which could involve vouchers for beauty treatments, homeware or baby stores.

The idea is still in its early stages but if approved could be put in place by the end of the year, a spokesman for the trust said.

He said: "We have already got a very successful Help To Quit service, which is one of the best in the country, but what we want to do is to get better and we are looking at innovative ways."

The amount each voucher would be worth has yet to be decided but could be in the region of £5 per week. Similar schemes in the US are being researched by the trust as part of the development of its programme.

Tests such as carbon monoxide monitoring, urine and saliva samples, regularly used in the Help To Quit scheme, would determine whether a woman has successfully quit.

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Telford and Wrekin NHS Trust