Smoking during pregnancy in England 'lowest on record'

Giving up smoking while pregnant Women who smoke while pregnant could be damaging their babies' hearts

Related Stories

The number of women smoking during pregnancy across England is down to 12%, the lowest recorded level, figures for 2013-2014 show.

But there were large regional differences, with 5% in London smoking up to nearly 21% in parts of the North East.

Rates have fallen 16% since first measured in 2006-7, the Health and Social Care Information Centre said.

Smoking while pregnant can damage babies' hearts.

It can also increase the risk of miscarriage and premature birth.

The government has set a target to reduce the rate to 11% or less women smoking at the time of delivery by 2015.

Still 'way to go'

The report shows 39% of local health areas have met this target so far.

Kingsley Manning, chair at the HSCIC said it was "encouraging" to see the decline in numbers of pregnant women who smoked.

But he added: "There is still a little way to go to achieve the national ambition.

"Today's figures highlight there is a still work to be done and it is fundamental that mothers-to-be are aware of the damaging effects smoking can have on their baby."

NHS Blackpool had the highest rate, with 28% of pregnant women smoking.

Other areas with high smoking in pregnancy rates were South Devon, the Isle of Wight, Wiltshire and Lincolnshire.

Meanwhile, central London had the lowest rate of 2%.

Map showing rates of smoking in pregnancy, by CCG

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Health stories



  • Mukesh SinghNo remorse

    Delhi bus rapist says victim shouldn't have fought back

  • Aimen DeanI spied

    The founder member of al-Qaeda who worked for MI6

  • Before and after shotsPerfect body

    Just how reliable are 'before and after' photos?

  • A man shutting his eyes tightlyStrange light show

    What do you see when you close your eyes?

  • Sony WalkmanLost ideas

    What has happened to Japan's inventors?

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.