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Proportion of women giving birth recorded as smokers falls to lowest level since series began in 2006/07

16 June 2016: New figures published today show the national annual percentage of women recorded as smokers at the time of giving birth has fallen below the national target.

*HSCIC must be quoted as the source of these figures

*Regional data are available within this report

Latest statistics published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC)1 today show that in 2015-16 10.6 per cent2 of pregnant women in England were recorded as smokers at the time of giving birth3. This represents 67,200 of 631,230 maternities4.

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 cent5 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 (Westminster) 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.

The full report is at:

http://www.hscic.gov.uk/pubs/wsstdapr15mar16

ENDS


Notes to editors

1. The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) was established on April 1, 2013 as an Executive Non Departmental Public Body (ENDPB). It is England's trusted data source, delivering high quality information and IT systems to drive better patient services, care and outcomes. Its work includes publishing more than 260 statistical publications annually; providing a range of specialist data services; managing informatics projects and programmes and developing and assuring national systems against appropriate contractual, clinical safety and information standards.

2. Percentages have been rounded to one decimal place; figures over 10,000 have been rounded to the nearest 10.

3. The 'time of giving birth' is the definition given in this report to the time of delivery.

4. The number of maternities is defined as the number of pregnant women who give birth to one or more live or stillborn babies of at least 24 weeks gestation, where the baby is delivered by either a midwife or doctor at home or in an NHS hospital (including GP units). This count is the number of pregnant women, not the number of babies (deliveries). It does not include maternities that occur in psychiatric hospitals or private beds/hospitals.

5. Reducing smoking during pregnancy is one of the three national ambitions in the Tobacco Control Plan published in March 2011. While Statistics on Women's Smoking Status at Time of Delivery collects data about the number of pregnant women recorded as smokers at the time of giving birth, these data are used as a measurement against the national ambition. Information about the national ambition can be found in the publication Healthy Lives, Healthy People: a tobacco control plan for England (Department of Health, 2011): www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-tobacco-control-plan-for-england

6. Smoking status is unknown for some maternities and therefore caution should be used when making comparisons with earlier periods and between CCGs.  At a national level, the number of maternities with an unknown smoking status represented three per cent of all maternities in 2015-16.

7. Use of e-cigarettes is excluded.

8. For media enquires or interview requests please contact media@hscic.gov.uk or telephone 0300 30 33 888. Please note the change to our media line number.

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