Over 10% of women in England currently smoke at the time of delivery, NHS finds

While the number of adults who smoke fell by 1.4 percent last year, the number of pregnant women who smoke has fallen by only 0.1 percent.

Heavily pregnant women in third trimester smoking a cigarette

Pregnancy news, 16/06/2017

The percentage of women who smoke during pregnancy has been going down every year. However, new NHS figures show that 10.5 percent of pregnant women are still smoking while pregnant, suggesting there is still a way to go.

Risks of smoking in pregnancy

Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage, premature birth, low birth weight and stillbirth.

Read about how the smoking ban led to an 8% drop in stillbirth and neonatal death rates…

It’s often thought that giving up smoking will increase stress levels which will harm the unborn baby more. This is not true. The damage caused by smoking outweighs the effects of stress from quitting.

Some people also believe that being in the womb protects a baby from the effects of cigarette smoke. However, the poisons move through the placenta and into the baby’s bloodstream. The baby then gets less oxygen, which could disrupt their development. This film shows you how:

Support to stop smoking in pregnancy

'It is important that smoking continues to be a priority if the government's targets to reduce stillbirths are to be met.'Hazel Cheeseman, director of policy at Action on Smoking and Health

The Smoking in Pregnancy Challenge Group, who Tommy’s are involved with, have suggested that more needs to be done to help women quit smoking. The action group have said that the support needs to target those who are most in need.

'The government must urgently publish the now long promised Tobacco Control Plan to not only address smoking in pregnancy but ensure that fewer women are smoking when they become pregnant.'Francine Bates, chair of the Smoking in Pregnancy Challenge Group and chief executive of the Lullaby Trust

Current support and advice

There is support available online and by phone to help with smoking cessation

NHS Smokefree

This website offers advice, information and support, along with a free Quit Kit and other resources. They also have a free Smokefree helpline, 0300 123 1044.


QUIT is a charity that has professional advisers, tips, tools and ideas to help quit smoking. Their free helpline is 0800 00 22 00.

SmokeFree Baby

SmokeFree Baby is a free smartphone app (iOS and Android), developed by a team of experts at University College London. It helps pregnant women give up smoking, or substantially reduce the number of cigarettes they are using.

Read more about smoking and pregnancy

More about these NHS findings

More on smoking and pregnancy

More pregnancy news and blogs

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