Clinical update

Smoking and pregnancy

In England, around 70,000 babies every year are born to mothers who smoke

Essential facts

In England, around 70,000 babies every year are born to mothers who smoke. Smoking during pregnancy causes up to 2,200 premature births, 5,000 miscarriages and 300 perinatal deaths every year in the UK, says the Royal College of Physicians. Treating mothers and their babies with problems caused by smoking in pregnancy is estimated to cost the NHS between £20 million and £87.5 million each year, according to researchers at the University of York.

Picture credit: Alamy

The Smoking in Pregnancy Challenge Group’s latest report, published last month, shows that the rate of smoking in pregnancy has fallen below the government target of 11% for the first time – down from more than 13% in 2011/12. However, the report says this figure conceals large disparities in rates of smoking in pregnancy between wealthier and poorer communities. It also sets out recommendations for how a new

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