Ranty Rant - Paid to stop smoking

OK so I’m pissed off, I’m not alone I know and I bet this post is echoed on mummy blogs across the UK right now but…well this is Random Rantings, I encourage a rant. Here’s my rant of the day.

Women paid to give up smoking when pregnant’ An eye catching and rant worthy headline indeed.

You will recall I was similarly ranty about ‘Women paid to breastfeed

I imagine most people would instantly balk at the idea, paid to do something you should either do anyway or at least that you should just make a personal choice over? Why bribe someone into making a good choice? Why reward someone for doing the right thing? Don’t we as humans have intellect, a moral compass, and a brain capable of making rational and informed decisions?

It’s not the only time ‘incentives’ have been used either. People have been paid to lose weight too and I’m sure there are other examples. (Who else remembers this little gem of an idea from 2009)

Ranty me can’t help wondering if, as I am, you are lazy is it not reasonable for the NHS to chuck us £20 or so to go for a brisk walk! It might sway me.

Yes but it works you say? It saves money and lives you say? The ethics don’t matter if it works the politicians cry!

Don’t they? Really? They are arguing that the end justifies the means? Well then I suggest a cheaper but I’m sure equally effective idea. We bring back the stocks. People caught making the wrong life choices should be placed in the stocks on the village green with a sign round their neck and we can fling rotten fruit at them. I bet that would work too. Would it make it OK if it worked?

Copyright: / 123RF Stock Photo

Do the ends ever justify the means? What do you think? Is paying people to behave well a reasonable idea?


  1. carol hedges28/1/15

    I want to be paid for not smoking, not breastfeeding and not being pregnant. Only, fair, innit?

  2. I'd quite like to be paid for not loosing it at my kids, not using the car, not tumble drying the clothes and all the other things I feel guilty about. Come on then Guv - hand it over.

  3. Ultimately, what pissed me off was the fact that those who were able to give up smoking, did so for a few hundred quid of shopping, but not for their unborn child? *facepalm*

  4. Crystal Jigsaw28/1/15

    And the money these women will be paid with comes from where...?

    The breast feeding payment was something that sent me into overdrive, because it's a choice to breast feed. But I'm over it now. This smoking one is just a matter of common sense. Smoking is bad for your health, can harm you, your baby and those around you. And if you smoke whilst pregnant, it most probably will harm your baby. But not BF doesn't harm your baby, nor does it harm you if you don't do it. I think the dictatorship this country is becoming needs to get a grip. My answer would be, if you're pregnant and you smoke throughout your pregnancy then you smoke in front of your baby, don't expect any treatment for smoking-relating illnesses on the NHS, for either you or your baby. If you have the sense to give up as soon as you discover you're carrying a precious bundle, then give yourself a pat on the back.

    Stocks? Can we throw bricks instead of rotten fruit?

    CJ x

  5. Baby Isabella28/1/15

    What people will do for money....but not for the health of their unborn child. :(

  6. Sarah MumofThree World29/1/15

    Now there's an idea I didn't expect to see... As others have said, it's incredible how people who would find it 'impossible' to give up would somehow manage if there was a nice pile of cash dangled in front of them. If there's going to be cash given out, I'm sure there are plenty of hard working women who don't smoke living on the poverty line who could do with some money too. Why shouldn't they have it? Oh yes, because the government can't afford it, but they could find it for smokers. Makes no sense.

  7. Laura29/1/15

    After my baby was born and the midwife came to do a home visit etc... We were talking about smoking and the midwife said if you can't give up smoking for your child you never will. It's particularly tricky for me as a family (in law) smoked throughout her pregnancy and I found it very hard to bite my tongue. My husband wasn't so successful and it went down with a lead balloon. But her baby had birth problems too - and none of us are allowed to say they are probably smoking related when they were well documented side affects. Overall, it just makes me sad.


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