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Pregnancy smoking tests 'are bullying'

All pregnant women could be tested to see if they are smoking according to proposals from the body which issues guidance to the NHS.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) says midwives should give carbon monoxide tests to pregnant mothers at their first antenatal appointment.

Professor Mike Kelly, director of public health for Nice, told the Today programme's Justin Webb said that "it's an opportunity for... support though the rest of the pregnancy to stop smoking."

But Louise Silverton, director for Midwifery at the Royal College of midwives, said: "I'm not sure that Nice are quite aware of how it actually works in a one to one relationship between a woman and her midwife.

"There are women who won't even discuss smoking," she said.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Monday 13 May 2013.

  • 13 May 2013