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Health and Society: Smoking in pregnancy Essay

Decent Essays
This assignment will begin by giving a brief definition of health whilst presenting a discussion on the exploration of an individual in relation to making healthy choices. The purpose of this assignment is to look at the effects of making healthy choices and the implications that may occur. In addition, current social policies that relate to health and society, and the effects of smoking in pregnancy will also be discussed.
‘Health is a state of physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’ (World Health Organisation, 2011) This definition was first cited by the International health conference in July 1946, and the definition has remained the same. Health is a way of life which is reflected
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Research identified that more than 17% of women smoke during pregnancy in England and Wales .Whilst, a staggering 45% of women in their twenties were found to smoke in their pregnancy (BBC News Health 2011). Where as it has said that the current Governments national target is to reduce the proportion of women smoking from 23 percent to 15% during pregnancy by 2010 (Luanaigh et al 2005) Research has emphasised that if this would be successful this would help with the long-term health and could also reduce the estimated costs of £1.4 –£ 1.7 billions to the nation (Bowden et manning 2006)
Research shows that smoking during pregnancy is harmful to both the unborn child and mother. Cigarette smoke causes serious harm to the fetal growth, causes severe neonatal risks and affects the progress of the pregnancy. (BBC News Health) Smoking can also increase the risk of miscarriage, premature birth, still-birth and sudden expected death in infancy. The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE, 2010) highlights that smoking also increases the risk of infant mortality by an estimated 40%. In the recent decades research has emphasised that maternal smoking increases the risk of placenta praevia, abruptio placentae and premature rupture of membranes, this develops other adverse events including serious respiratory illness and asthma attacks and sudden infant death (Luanaigh
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