One in five pregnant women in Warwickshire continue to smoke when they are ready to give birth.
This is one of the findings of a report by the county’s director of public health. Dr John Linnane’s report, Learning from the Past, Planning for the Future, shows that 16.7 per cent of pregnant women were smoking at the time of delivery in Rugby Borough. The figure was 19.6 per cent for Warwickshire, compared to 13.2 per cent in England.
The effects of smoking when pregnant, according to the British Medical Council, is that it can severely stunt growth, leading to babies being born 6oz lighter.
It was estimated that 14.6 per cent of children in Rugby were thought to be living in poverty. This compared to 21.9 per cent in England, and 13.9 per cent of children were thought to be obese, the lowest in the county.
Dr Linnane said: “How can we have one in five babies being born in the county who have effectively already been smoking for nine months at the time they take their first breath?”
Cllr Bob Stevens, the county councillor responsible for health, said: “Clearly there are areas which require our attention and action - the ‘return’ of public health to local government provides a renewed opportunity to address these issues.” See publichealth.warwickshire.gov.uk for more.