one in five pregnant women in Wakefield smoke, new figures reveal.
And 17 per cent of mums-to-be in parts of Leeds are also still smokers at the time they give birth, according to statistics from the Health and Social Care Information Centre.
Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) reported that 20.7 per cent of pregnant women smoked, second highest in the region.
Wakefield Council’s director of public health Dr Andrew Furber said: “Smoking remains a top priority for us and these figures highlight this important issue. This is why we are working on various initiatives to help mums quit smoking in their crucial stages of pregnancy.
“We should not underestimate the difficulty in stopping smoking during pregnancy as evidence suggests it is even harder to quit – but we can work together to give mums support, advice and tips to help them make a healthier choice for themselves and their baby.”
In Leeds South and East CCG, the smoking rate was 17.2 per cent among expectant mums.
Dr Jane Mischenko, commissioning lead for Children and Maternity Services at NHS Leeds CCGs, said the figures reflected deprivation in these areas.
“It has long been recognized that there is an association between deprivation and smoking,” she said.
“Our vision is to improve the health and wellbeing of our local population and a crucial part of doing this is to support patients to give up smoking. A priority group is pregnant women, for their own health and that of their unborn child.”
She said that midwives and healthcare workers played a vital role and understood how difficult it could be for women to quit smoking.
* Wakefield Stop Smoking Service is on 01977 465449 and Leeds on 0800 1694219.