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One in ten pregnant women still smoke

More than 10% of women in England smoke at the time of delivery, though the figure has been declining for more than seven years. 

A new report from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) shows 83,490 women out of 658,110 were smoking at the time of delivery. 

The number has decreased by 4,000 on last year, and is considerably fewer than in 2007-08 (14%, or 91,570 out of 634,040).

But expectant mothers in the North East of England topped the league table, with nearly 20% smoking up until delivery. 

Blackpool Primary Care Trust (PCT) had the highest prevalence of all 147 PCTS who returned validated data with almost one in three women smoking during pregnancy (30.8 per cent, or 520 out of 1,700). 

Westminster PCT had the lowest rate at about one in 43 (2.3 per cent, or 54 out of 2,380).

HSCIC Chief Executive Alan Perkins said: “Today's figures show that while fewer pregnant women are smoking across England, mothers in the North East have been top of the smoker's prevalence table for six years running.

“Today's report is crucial for addressing those regions and PCTs where the rates of smoking during pregnancy are particularly high and are likely to alert local-level health professionals.”

The full report is available on the HSCIC website