Recent data has shown that over 65,000 women in England continue to smoke during pregnancy, despite numerous public health warnings.

The data from Women’s Smoking Status at Time of Delivery: England, published by the Health & Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), revealed that in 2015/16 an average of 10.6% mums-to-be where still smoking at the time of their baby’s birth.

The lowest number of smoking mums was recorded in London at 4.9%, the equivalent of 5,294 women. Blackpool had the highest smoking prevalence, reaching a surprising 26%, or 1 in 4 mums-to-be.

Taking the middle ground are expectant mums living in the Midlands and the East of England, where 11.2% were smoking at the time of delivery.

The good news is that national smoking averages among pregnant mums are decreasing every year, dropping by nearly 1% since 214/15.

2015/16 Smoking Prevalence among Pregnant Women at Time of Delivery in Selected Cities in England

smoking and pregnancyData Source: Women’s Smoking Status at Time of Delivery: England (April 2015 to March 2016), HSCIC. Graphic:

Smoking and pregnancy

According to the NHS, the risks of smoking during pregnancy can be very severe, including increased risks of heart defects, premature delivery, miscarriage, stillbirth and sudden infant death (SIDS).

Cigarette contain 4,000 chemicals that travel from your lungs into your bloodstream, before crossing to your baby via the placenta and umbilical cord.

To avoid possible complications, women and their partners are encourage to quit smoking when they are expecting a baby or trying to conceive.

Want to quit?

The NHS can provide free specialist support to help you stop smoking in pregnancy. Speak to your midwife, GP or pharmacy for more information, or contact your local NHS Stop Smoking Service, which has a 50% success rate.

You can also speak to a specialist on the NHS Smoking Helpline by calling 0300 123 1044.

Love your tech? Try the SmokeFree Baby smartphone app, which was developed by a team of experts at University College London, and it is available for free on iOS and Android.