Women who live in Richmond are the least likely in the country to smoke during pregnancy, a report revealed this week.
1.9 per cent of pregnant women looked after by Richmond NHS were identified as smokers during their pregnancy.
This is compared to a shocking 27.5 per cent of expectant mothers in Blackpool who admitted to smoking throughout their pregnancy – the highest number in the country.
Pregnant smokers risk severe complications, including giving birth to underweight children or going into labour prematurely. They are also significantly more likely than a non-smoker to have a still born child.
The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) report revealed that the number of pregnant smokers across the country was down from 15.1 per cent in in 2006/07 to 12 per cent in 2013/14.
HSCIC Chair Kingsley Manning said: “It is encouraging to see that the number of pregnant women who smoked during pregnancy has declined. However, there is still a little way to go to achieve the national ambition.
“Today’s figures highlight there is a still work to be done and it is fundamental that mothers-to-be are aware of the damaging effects smoking can have on their baby.”