PROGRESS on reducing smoking rates in Glasgow has been significant in recent years, with tens of thousands giving up.

There is as always much more to be done, and the number of women smoking during pregnancy is still one area where it is proving more difficult to bring the numbers down.

The figures show that many are wanting to give up when they discover they are pregnant, which is of course welcome, but the number who remain unable to quit is a cause for concern.

Stopping smoking at any time in life is a very difficult task and the added anxieties pregnancy can often add to the tension and may even outwiegh the desire to quit for the sake of the unborn child.

But there is, however, help out there.

The successful Clear the Air campaign by the Evening Times and Glasgow and Lanarkshire health boards made great strides in encouraging more people to get on a smoking cessation programme.

The risks of smoking during pregnancy are significant but it doesn't make it any easier for women to quit at that time as the addiction is still powerful.

The key is professional help through a smoking cessation group and GP. With that and family support the number can be reduced in the future.