HOW A BILL BECOMES A LAW 5
Howa Bill Becomes a Law
Alcoholand tobacco use among pregnant mothers in the community have reachedepidemic levels. Studies link the deaths of more than 5,000 babiesand fetus annually to smoking during pregnancy. Other harmfuleffects associated with this behavior includes adverse effect ongrowth and cognitive development of children, as well as the behaviorof the exposed child. This alarming problem remains prevalentespecially among teenage mothers and needs to be tackled urgently. Other successful interventions are required over and above what thegovernment is already doing to address this issue. All pregnantsmokers should be identified and offered support in a non-judgmentalway to reduce the proportions of women who smoke during pregnancy forthe sake of both the mother and the unborn child (Lewis, 2010).
Thispaper will propose the use of financial incentives in addition to theroutine specialist pregnancy stop-smoking services, to help pregnantsmokers to stop this habit. These services will include aface-to-face conversation about smoking and cessation. Additionally,a follow-up will be done using telephone support calls to ascertainthe smoking status of the pregnant women.
Cigarettesmoke contains toxins such as lead, nicotine, mercury, carbon dioxideand mercury among others harmful to a developing fetus. Smokingduring pregnancy is associated with dangers such as miscarriage,preterm and low weight babies, asthma, lower respiratory tractinfections, sudden infant death syndrome and attention deficithyperactivity disorder. In spite of these risks and increased publicawareness of harmful consequences of smoking, a large proportion ofpregnant women are smokers (Mantzari, Vogt & Marteau, 2012).
Studiesrelated to this proposal shows that use of financial incentives hasbeen highly effective in motivatingabstinence. This incentive program engages affected women from poorcommunities who are offered support and paid grocery vouchers everyweek they demonstrate to be smoke-free. For instance, the Glasgowstudy involving 612 pregnant women found out that financialincentives might be successfully used to help pregnant smokers quitthis behavior (Mantzariet al., 2012).
Althoughsubstantial evidence shows financial incentive as a potentiallycost-effective approach to preventing smoking-related- complicationsin mothers and their babies, no state has introduced or passed asimilarlegislation.
ASSESSMENT:FINANCES AND STAKEHOLDERS
Accordingto the Glasgow University researchers, providing financial incentivesto pregnant smokers is a cost-effective solution to the healthcareindustry. In addition to saving money and lives, this method willhelp reduce illness, hospitaladmissions during the child’s first year,and disability (Lewis, 2010).
Supportersof this bill
Stakeholdergroups that would support this bill include doctors and hospitalofficials who work tirelessly to promote fetal health and protectchildren. On the other hand, women and children`s advocates whopromote the birth of healthy children would also support this bill
Opponentsof this bill
Conversely,the tobacco industry is likely to oppose this bill citing sabotage totheir business. Other groups likely to oppose this bill include thereproductive rights and criminal justice groups who would citecriminalization of smoking during pregnancy as a violation of women’srights to privacy and equal protection (Lewis, 2010).
Overcomingsubstance abuse is difficult, especially for pregnant addicts.Therefore, the best way to address this issue is through treatmentprograms tailored for pregnant and parenting women, to help themovercome addiction challenge, as well as, greatly improve birthoutcomes. The first step of this bill will be meeting the legislatorto discuss mechanisms to be used to maximize the effectiveness offinance incentives and to design an optimal incentive scheme. I willalso recommend the establishment of educational programs concerningcigarettes effects on pregnancy and fetal outcome. Furthermore,pregnant mothers and teenagers should be given priority forgovernment-funded substance abuse treatment services (Mantzari etal., 2012).
Lewis,K. E. (2010). Smokingcessation.Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Mantzari,E., Vogt, F., & Marteau, T. M. (2012). The effectiveness offinancial incentives for smoking cessation during pregnancy: Is itfrom being paid or from the extra aid? Retrieved on 17 March 2016fromhttp://bmcpregnancychildbirth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2393-12-24