More than one in 10 pregnant women admit to being smokers at the time of giving birth, new government statistics show.
Latest statistics published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) today show that in 2015-16 10.6 per cent of pregnant women in England were recorded as smokers at the time of giving birth. This represents 67,200 of 631,230 maternities.
This is lower than in 2014-15 (when it was 11.4 per cent) and is also the lowest annual figure since this series was first published in 2006-07 (when it was 15.1 per cent).
This decrease means the national annual percentage of women recorded as smokers at the time of giving birth in a financial year was below the national target of 11.0 per cent for the first time.
However, there were areas in England where up to a quarter of women giving birth over the last 12 months were smokers.
Statistics on Women’s Smoking Status at Time of Delivery is a quarterly and annual report, which provides a picture at Commissioning Region, Area Team and Clinical Commissioning Group level.
The report shows wide regional variation in the 12 months up to March 2016:
Of England’s 209 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), NHS Blackpool had the highest prevalence, with one in four (26.0 per cent) women recorded as being smokers at the time of delivery.
The CCG with the lowest prevalence was NHS Central London at 1.5 per cent.
Overall, 103 CCGs in England (49.3 per cent) met or surpassed the national 11 per cent target.
The area team with the highest prevalence was Cumbria and North East with 16.0 per cent of women recorded as smokers at the time of giving birth.
The Area Team with the lowest prevalence, London, had 4.9 per cent of women recorded as smokers at the time of delivery.