Quitting to stay quit in the South East

Ahead of the World Health Organisation’s “World No Tobacco Day” in Sunday 31st May, the “Supporting Pregnant Women to Quit and Stay Quit” initiative in the South East has had its 100th  referral since the Sláintecare integrated care programme was launched three months ago.  

“Supporting Pregnant Women to Quit and Stay Quit” operates as a dedicated support for pregnant women, taking referrals across the four maternity hospitals and primary care and community services settings in the South East (counties Carlow, Kilkenny, South Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford).

Three expectant mums are also this week endorsing the success of the “Supporting Pregnant Women to Quit and Stay Quit” programme as being an illustration of Sláintecare’s aim to deliver the right care, in the right place and at the right time.

  • 28 year old Laura Jane O Reilly from Waterford was the programme’s first referral in February of this year. Laura Jane has smoked for 16 years and this is the first time that she has stopped. Laura Jane has not smoked for the past 12 weeks and is expecting her baby in August.
  •  34 year old Laura Keeley from Clonmel, Co. Tipperary has smoked for more than 10 years and this is her first baby. Laura signed up for this programme in March, has quit smoking and her baby is due in September. 
  • 30 year old Dorina Waters, also from Clonmel, Co. Tipperary has been smoking for more than 10 years. She and her partner Brendan Flynn used to smoke more than 20 cigarettes a day each. Since 18th of March, however, they both quit and have stayed quit and their baby is due in September. 

Kate Cassidy, a Health and Wellbeing officer with the HSE/South East Community Healthcare services, outlines the aim of the Sláintecare funded programme piloted across the South East:

“Stopping smoking is the best thing you can do for yourself and your baby. We know, of course, that it can be difficult to do. We also know, however, that mums want to give your baby the best possible start in life. By using our 1:1 intensive stop smoking service or telephone support, participants can increase their chances of quitting fourfold.”

“Nearly half of pregnant women who set a quit date with their stop smoking service go on to quit successfully. No matter what stage you or your partner are at in your pregnancy, it is never too late to stop smoking.

You will get the support you need and not be judged. Ask your midwife, GP, healthcare provider or practice nurse to refer yourself to the “Supporting Pregnant Women to Quit and Stay Quit”. Once referred, a Smoking Cessation officer will talk to you about your smoking habits and help you to build a plan to quit smoking. They will help you build confidence and motivate you to quit.

David Phelan, a Smoking Cessation Officer with the “Supporting Pregnant Women to Quit and Stay Quit” programme says

“It will be your plan. It will help you to build coping skills and avoid risky situations for you. When you stop smoking, both you and your baby will feel the benefits immediately. Carbon monoxide and other chemicals will quickly leave your body. This means that there’ll be more oxygen in your blood, making you and your baby much healthier.”

The positive impact to date of the “Supporting Pregnant Women to Quit and Stay Quit” programme has been welcomed by the Chief Officer of South East Community Healthcare Kate Killeen White, who said that all HSE services in the South East were very proud of the support service and that it was proving to be a very good demonstration of the integrated care approach central to the Sláintecare project.

Note (for access to the programme):

This service, across the South East, is offered free to all pregnant women, women who have had babies or women planning to become pregnant, their partner/spouse and others in the household who want to quit smoking. Clinics (including per phone/online arrangement) are available in Carrick on Suir (the Primary Care Centre, Pill Rd.), Waterford (the Primary Care Centre, John’s Hill) and Wexford (the Primary Care centre, Grogan’s Rd.). Clinics are available in Carlow and Kilkenny by appointment. For more information, please contact Kate Cassidy at (087-6529847) or David Phelan at (051) 842800)

Contact the Quit line

  • Quit website: www.quit.ie
  • Free Helpline: 1800 201 203
  • Email support: support@quit.ie
  • Free text support: text Quit to 50100
  • Facebook: www.facebook.com/HSEquit
  • Twitter: @HSEQuitTeam


Last updated on: 29 / 05 / 2020