Almost 20% of expectant mothers in Lincolnshire continue to smoke throughout their pregnancy, new figures suggest.
Data from 207 Clinical Commissioning Groups released on Friday, March 9 showed that women in the North East Lincolnshire area were more likely to be smoking at the point of delivery than anywhere else in the Greater Lincolnshire region.
The North East Lincolnshire CCG area had a rate that was among the highest in the country (22.6%).
Of 7,595 maternities registered by NHS Digital for the annual year to date 2017/18 in Greater Lincolnshire, 1,308 (17%) were known to be smokers at the time of delivery.
This is way above the national average of 10.8% and the government target set to CCGs of 6%.
The smoking status was not known for 455 women.
Department of health experts have warned that smoking during pregnancy can cause serious pregnancy-related health problems.
“These include complications during labour and an increased risk of miscarriage, premature birth, low birth-weight and sudden unexpected death of infancy.”
Areas where women are least likely to continue smoking, based on the third quarter October to December, were NHS Wokingham (1.6%), NHS Camden (2.4%) and NHS Hammersmith and Fulham (2.4%).
The CCGs with the highest proportions were NHS Blackpool (27.8%), NHS South Kent Coast (23.1%) and NHS South Tyneside (21.7%).
Charities have unitedly condemned smoking during pregnancy.
Hazel Cheeseman, director of policy at Action on Smoking and Health added that smoking rates were highest “where people are most deprived”.
“Women in our poorest communities find it harder to quit, they are often living in households with smokers who are highly addicted to nicotine.”