Approximately 1 in 10 women in Buckinghamshire smoke while pregnant, despite Government efforts to reduce smoking rates, according to the Advertiser.
The Government said too many women are at risk of suffering a stillbirth or complications as a result of smoking, particularly those from deprived areas, and recognized it must do more to tackle the issue.
According to NHS Digital data, eight per cent of the mums who gave birth during the first three months of 2019 in the Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group area were smokers – which equates to 97 out of the 1,267 women who gave birth during that time.
Across England, a total of 145,876 mothers gave birth during the same three months. Of these, 10 per cent were self-reported as smokers, down from 11 per cent one year earlier.
The NHS warned that smoking during pregnancy can cause serious health problems, including complications during labour and an increased risk of miscarriage, premature birth, still birth, and sudden unexpected death in infancy.
According to the Advertiser, Vicky Salt, policy manager at charity Action on Smoking and Health said: “These figures show a slight decline in rates of smoking during pregnancy compared to last year, however much more must be done to address the big variations in prevalence rates between local areas.
“Government must go further, and faster…this should include greater use of financial incentive schemes to support quitting and action to reduce smoking rates in women of childbearing age.
“Any delay will have a real cost in babies’ lives.”