Shocking new pregnancy smoking figures released
New figures have been released showing regional differences in smoking whilst pregnant. The figures suggest that over 27% of pregnant mothers in Blackpool smoke whilst carrying their baby. This is compared to just 2.1% found in Westminster.
Overall the rate of smoking pregnant mothers has fallen to under 11% but this still leads to more than 70,000 pregnancies affected by smoking each year. Effects include premature births, miscarriages and still births.
The Smoking in Pregnancy Challenge Group wants the statistic to fall to 6% by the year 2020.
Prof Russel Viner, at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said: "We know that smoking rates among teenage mothers-to-be remain considerably higher than the rest of the population.
"They are almost six times as likely to smoke throughout pregnancy as women who are over 35.
"We also know that there are big regional variations, with rates much higher in poorer communities.
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