More than one in 10 pregnant women admit to being smokers at the time of giving birth, new government statistics show.
But our area is below the national average with only 7.7-11% of new mums admitting to lighting up.
The NHS data shows that the average number of smoking mothers across England is down to an all-time low - less than 11%.
However, there is a wide spread of figures across the country, with a figure of 1.5% in Central London bringing down the average, while in Cumbria and the North East, the number of women unable or unwilling to kick the habit stands at 16%.
The statistics assess which Clinical Commissioning Groups are meeting the 11% target, and of the 209 CCGs, 49% achieved this. However, 3% had smoking rates of over 20% with NHS Blackpool recording that over a quarter of women were smokers at the time of giving birth. Across England there were still 67,195 women who were smokers at the time they gave birth.
Advice from the NHS is: “Smoking during pregnancy can cause serious pregnancy-related health problems. These include complications during labour and an increased risk of miscarriage, premature birth, stillbirth, low birth-weight and sudden unexpected death in infancy.”
Reducing smoking during pregnancy to 11% or less was one of the aims of 2011’s Tobacco Control Plan.