Investment in stopping smoking services needed says RCM as new report published

By RCM on 18 July 2017 Smoking

A report on the training needs of the maternity workforce related to tackling smoking in pregnancy has been published today by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH). The report provides an analysis of the training that midwives and obstetricians receive to address smoking in pregnant women, and what further training is needed.

Commenting on the report, Cathy Warwick, Chief Executive of the Royal College of Midwives, said: “Reducing smoking in pregnancy is one of the most important steps that could significantly reduce poor outcomes in pregnancy such as stillbirths. This is why it is so important that the recommendations in this document are looked at and acted on by governments and other relevant organisations.

“There is a clear need to improve the training and education provided for student midwives, and for ongoing training for midwives and their colleagues working in our maternity services. We need to ensure that midwives, doctors and their colleagues are equipped with the right knowledge and skills so that they can offer the best advice and support to women and their families.

“No matter how good the training this cannot be fully effective if midwives cannot sign-post women on to smoking cessation services. We are seeing cuts to public health budgets and smoking cessation services are being affected. This has got to be reversed and investment in smoking cessation services has to be stepped-up.

“Jeremy Hunt is rightly making great efforts to reduce our stillbirth rates. However his Government and all governments across the UK have got to back up these efforts with appropriate investment in services focused on prevention.”

The RCM has an online learning course ‘Very Brief Advice on Smoking for Pregnant Women’ on the RCM’s i-learn e-learning platform, available free to all RCM members. There are over 80 courses on many topics on the platform. For more information on the RCM’s I-learn courses visit

The full report can be viewed at

To contact the RCM Press Office call 020 7312 3456, or email [email protected].


Notes to editors

The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at