One in five women smoke during pregnancy

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One in five North East women smoke during pregnancy Almost one in five women who gave birth in the North East in 2012-13 classed themselves as a smoker when they had their baby, new figures show.

Nearly 5,700 women (19.7 per cent of 28,920) said they still smoked according to today’s Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) report, which also shows this prevalence has been highest in the North East for the last six years.

London had the lowest prevalence in 2012-13 at about one in 17 (5.7 per cent, or 7,000 out of 122,320) and also had the lowest prevalence in each of the last six years.

Blackpool Primary Care Trust (PCT) had the highest prevalence of all 147 PCTS who returned validated data with almost one in three women smoking during pregnancy (30.8 per cent, or 520 out of 1,700). Westminster PCT had the lowest rate at about one in 43 (2.3 per cent, or 54 out of 2,380).

Statistics on Women’s Smoking Status at Time of Delivery is a quarterly report for the period January 2013 to March 2013 but also gives an annual picture that can be compared back to 2006-073.

Today’s figures show a continual fall since 2006-07 in the number of women in England smoking at the time of delivery.

In the 12 months to March 2013 in England:

There were fewer women smoking at the time of delivery (12.7 per cent, or 83,490 out of 658,110 maternities) compared to the previous year (13.2 per cent, or 87,640 out of 664,690 maternities in 2011-12) and considerably fewer than five years ago in 2007-08 (14.4 per cent, or 91,570 out of 634,040). The PCT breakdown of today’s figures is similar to that of previous years. In 2010-11 the highest prevalence rate of women smoking at the time of delivery was Blackpool PCT (29.7 per cent) and the lowest was Westminster PCT (2.9 per cent).   HSCIC Chief Executive Alan Perkins said: “Today’s figures show that while fewer pregnant women are smoking across England, mothers in the North East have been top of the smoker’s prevalence table for six years running.

“Today’s report is crucial for addressing those regions and PCTs where the rates of smoking during pregnancy are particularly high and are likely to alert local-level health professionals.”

View the full report at

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