Due dateThe national annual percentage of women recorded as smokers at the time of giving birth has fallen below the national target – and the lowest since records began in 2006 – according to new figures published today.

Statistics published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) show that in 2015-16 10.6% of pregnant women in England were recorded as smokers at the time of giving birth (or 67,200 of 631,230 maternities). 

This is lower than in 2014-15 (when it was 11.4%) and is also the lowest annual figure since this series was first published in 2006-07 (when it was 15.1%). 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% for the first time.

However, there were areas in England where up to a quarter of women giving birth over the past 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 1 in 4 (26 %) women recorded as being smokers at the time of delivery
  • The CCG with the lowest prevalence was NHS Central London (Westminster) at 1.5%
  • Overall, 103 CCGs in England (49.3%) met or surpassed the national 11% 
  • The area team with the highest prevalence was Cumbria and North East with 16%
  • The Area Team with the lowest prevalence, London, had 4.9%. 

For more information, or to access the full report, visit: http://www.hscic.gov.uk/catalogue/PUB20899